“Yellow Bird” Aims to Preserve & Pass American Indian Traditions


YEREVAN, MAY 26, NOYAN TAPAN. “It’s a great honour for me to be in
your country. Here people are warm and hospitable. I am glad that I’m
in a far and hospitable Armenia,” Ken Duncan, the “Yellow Bird” apache
tribe dance group head stated at the May 25 press-conference taken
place in Yerevan. According to Ken Duncan, the “Yellow Bird” dance
group may be considered a family group as well, as his wife, daughter
and seven sons are involved in it. And the group’s name is his wife’s
maiden tribe name. Besides the family members, apaches of other tribes
are also involved in this apache group having creative history of more
than 20 years. According to Ken Duncan, the primary mission of the
dance group is to preserve and pass to generations American Indians’
traditions. He mentioned that besides dancing performances, their
group also performs ancient stories and shows on those themes.

According to Duncan, as a dance group of American aborigines, they
present different phenomena of nature by music and dancing performances.
And according to him, culture is important for everybody understands
“where he comes from and where he goes to.” Besides the concert
mission, according to their ancestors’ traditions, the group builds
apache villages and settlements in different countries of the
world. One of Duncan’s sons presented his music instrument, a pipe
belonged to American aborigines by which he performed an interesting
music work: when a boy decided to court a girl, he starts playing pipe
and after the 4th performance, he gave it to the chosen girl. As for
the problem of using together the modern techniques and apache
traditions, according to Ken Duncan, they work and create by using
both variants: for example, “during the period of time when young
girls come to age, the whole tribe goes up to hills and implements
traditional ceremonial rites.” And in other cases, of course, they
make use of technics. 50 thousand apaches live today in the U.S. who
has a sovereign status there. The “Yellow Bird” group has had concert
tours during these years in different countries of the world. They
must leave for England immediatly after the Armenian tours.

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