In the current event series, many of the performers are descendants of the actors or participants in Curtis’s film. At the events, they will discuss Kwakwaka’wakw cultural protocol, the relation of the songs and dances to those pictured in the film, as well as the historical context in which the film was made.
The Gwa’wina Dancers are a professional, adult dance group whose members represent many of the 16 tribes of the Kwakwaka’wakw people. The Kwakwaka’wakw are the Kwak’wala-speaking people of the west coast of British Columbia, Canada.
Members of our dance group live and work in the region that is northern Vancouver Island. We come together to perform by invitation or by special arrangement for private events.
Since inception in 1999, our group has performed in Canada, the United States, Europe, and New Zealand.
All dancers have permission from their Chiefs and extended families to perform the dances and songs we present. Each Gwa’wina dancer is initiated in Potlatch ceremonies, thereby earning the right to perform the dances and songs.
The dances are traditional dances, each telling a story or legend that is part of our rich heritage. We faithfully perform each dance as our ancestors did. We sing the songs as they were originally composed, in our Kwak’wala language.
For each performance, the Gwa’wina Dancers prepare body and mind to enter the spiritual world that is each dance and song. We invite you to journey with us to that spiritual place and see the world with different eyes.