Asking For Vision (Day 3, or 4 maybe, this is where we talk about Hoops)
He asks his brother, the brilliant attorney to sing while he dances and is obliged. In a high clear and steady voice over insistantly throbbing drums he sings while his brother dances. Tsa Ka'alim begins placing hoops made from willow branches and painted white, black, red, and yellow, all around the area he will be performing.
'ìs' à' nà yái k' è' gòjó 'àná' hòkùs
(long life, like good, moves back and forth)
t'á ìga'ì biìt á'éd yùd'á lzà tc'ìndíi
(white water flows underneath in a circle we have made they say)
Tsa Ka'alim here steps on the edge of a white hoop, it flies up in the air, spinning fast. On the way down he catches it in his hand casually, he plays with it for a bit and passes his entire body through the hoop.
ákó gò'it'á ìgaì bìká nà'íljò jogò'á lzàa tc'ìndíi
(fast white water on it, spread across it, this is made they say)
yò gàii sìyùdì'ìt á nèz' ágò'á lzà tc'ìndíi
(white shells curve over, also under, it rests easy, made by hand they say)
Tsa Ka'alim does this with a hoop of each color. He has four and begins to make simple patterns based upon the Apache medicine wheel. White for the North, intention; black for the South, emotion; yellow the west, action; and, red, in the East where spirit lives.
gòdìt' óo' bàskxà' hílljìij tc'ìndíi
(lightning dances alongside they say)
gòdìt' óo' bèbìik' è nà'ìst'oó tc'ìndíi
(lightning fastened across it they say)
Now, as hoops are added, the patterns are becoming far more complicated. As he picks up each hoop, Tsa Ka'alim passes through it. He makes it look effortlessly easy. It is not. He's just that good.
hí tsáta'ul bìt'ùl á lzà tc'ìndíi
(rainbow is its rope that has been made they say)
t'ádì xì bìtc'ìd bìt'á' sì tsòoz
(a blanket of black water underneath it rests)
t'á'ìgaì bìtc'ìd bìt'á' sì tsòoz
(a blanket of white water underneath it rests)
Tsa Ka'alim is playing with about twenty hoops now. He mimics butterflies, and birds, he plays with the shapes and the colors of the hoops. All this time he moves, often with his eyes closed. It's as if he's imagining his dance as much as making a performance. He has made an especially elaborate pattern that looks like a Celtic Love Knot. Little Kilkii Dani laughs out loud in delight. Tsa Ka'alim laughs with her and makes a circuit of his performance space, hooting in joy and pride. I join his brother in singing.
ìs' àa'nà yáaii keh'eh gòjó ts'áh'áh lzàa tc'ìndíi
(like long life, good young woman she is made, they say)
djùnà' aáii bìnànt àh' bèii bìyì' gùdìtníi tc'ìndíi
(the sun, our chief, beside her, within her, he rumbles they say)
Tsa Ka'alim finishes with 28 hoops. He runs to his new cousin and gives her two of the hoops. He picks her up in his arms and holds her high. He shouts her name. It is shouted back by the people.
He comes over to his brother and I. He passes Girl Who Is Loved By The Ravens over to me. She gives me a big hug around the neck, a kiss on the cheek, and says
Cousin Kaleem says that you and cousin Benny are famous Eagle dancers. Will you be dancing?
I give a look to my cousin. He is searching for ways that we can gracefully refuse.
We can't find one.
Together we say "Yes. We will dance for you."