Thursday, January 31, 2013

For several weeks in the early spring and late fall I traveled as far north as Burns Lake, BC, southeast to Vancouver Island and on down to Washington State. During these trips my presentations included a street fair called Word on the Street, several readings, Meet the Author/Salmon Celebration slide shows, many
workshops and an Authors' Event at the Maritime Museum in Victoria.
The all-day workshops included classes in mask making, creative writing and drama. During the workshops, I helped the students create their own headband frontlet. Working together in small clan groups, the students made colourful masks in the same crest family. A worksheet is used to educate the children on the materials used in making a real FN mask.
After this project is completed the children move into ‘totem’ groups and write their own stories using the mask crests as the characters. One criterion to their stories is the final words used, “and this is our Totem.”
Upon completion of their story, the totem group performs it to the student body. During each ‘curtain call’ a photo is taken of the Totem created by each troupe. My first workshop like this was in 1984, my last in 2012 with too many to count in-between.