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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Americas | California | Arts + Action
Native American Honoring for Kevin "Snowberry" Sheahan
Known to many among the southern and central California Indian nations, Kevin "Snowberry" Sheahan was adopted into both Chumash and Gourd Dance societies. He will be honored as one of them at the Children of Many Colors Powwow.
Honoring a Friend, Veteran and Brother (posted on Facebook on Redbird's community page)
Kevin Snowberry Sheahan will be honored in the Native American way during all three sessions of the Gourd Dance at the Children of Many Colors Powwow. Kevin was accepted by and danced with the Gourd Dancers for as many years as his health would allow. We will be giving him the same honoring that is given military and first responder personnel and members of the Native American community; the same honoring that one of the Apache Gourd Dancers gave to Navajo Code Talker Joe Morris Sr. last year on Sunday when we got word of his crossing over.
Kevin will be honored with an empty chair, the chair he used to use when he danced, which will be placed along the edge of the circle during the three gourd dance sessions; Saturday morning at 11 AM, Saturday evening at approximately 6 PM and Sunday, during which the honoring for all Veterans will take place, at 11 AM.
If you would like to show your respect for Kevin we ask that you do it in the way of his chosen people, the Gourd Dancers. There are four sets of Gourd Dance songs. The final set is called a "two and two" which is two blanket songs followed by two powerful closing songs. If you would like to honor Kevin, come out during the first two blanket songs and leave something on the blanket. Show your respect by honoring the singers and the songs, the drum that makes the Gourd Dance Ceremony possible, the singers who are given those songs, special, sacred songs that must be sung appropriately, powerful medicine songs. Thank his fellow Gourd Dancers for being there, for accepting him, for helping him, for their service to our country and to all people.
Understand how many generations the Gourd Dance has been passed down through, that for many years it was illegal to perform these ceremonies, that the Gourd Dance was almost lost, but for a handful of people who understood that if they did not sacrifice to keep the ceremony alive, it would be forgotten. Be grateful that the Gourd Dancers took Snowberry in as one of their own and afforded him the opportunity to participate.
It was Kevin's most fervent desire to be accepted into the Native American community, and he was. We will honor him as a Native American Gourd Dancer is honored.