February 17th, 2014 Last Updated on: February 17th, 2014
Interview by Dr. Dawn Karima, Contributing Editor
Q) It's great to visit with you!!! What are some of the facts you'd like us to know about you?
A) Well, My Name is Karmayne Toney , I'm From the Navajo Tribe and I'm Born for the Mud people clan. I'm happily married to Wallace Toney and we have 2 kids together.
Q) What is your Native heritage? What are some of your tribal values that shape your character? How so?
A) I'm full Navajo. My tribal values that shape who I am are respect and honesty.
Q) Powwows are sure important to all of us here! Why are they important to you?
A) Powwow is my self-therapy because it's soothing and relaxing, hearing every beat of the drum and knowing what the song is about. Knowing it's about positive things and blessings in one's life. I think people should attend because nowadays people like to assume we're only about feathers and face paint when that's not it. I think if people were to come who have never been to a powwow, they would get to know that Native American gatherings are about celebrating life, Mother Earth and Father Sky.
Q) What changes in you when dance at a powwow?
A) What changes is my mind set and my energy. I feel at peace when I dance I feel the drum and what I'm dancing about.
I sometimes close my eyes and pray and give thanks for my family, friends and loved ones, like I said before it's my therapy and my time to just be calm and at ease with life.
Q) What are some of the teachings that shape your identity?
A) Well, my grandparents always told me self-identity is important. Knowing your clans, where you come from and never forgetting that your blessed to be alive. Spiritually, what keeps me centered is dancing.
Q) What are your earliest memories of dancing?
A) I started dancing at a young age, my mom always wanted my sisters and I to dance so we did. I truly knew that I wanted to dance was after 20 years I'm still wanting to dance and with my daughter wanting to learn it pushes me to do more and more and to never stop dancing.
Q) How did you choose your dance category? What does dancing your particular style mean to you?
A) Well, I didn't choose it, it choose me. I dance both Fancy and Jingle. Jingle dancing is a medicine dress it has a lot of meaning to me because it has a story to it a
meaningful, powerful story.
Q) What do you want us to know about your dancing?
A) I dance because I love it, winning to me means nothing just dancing.
Q) Such charming regalia! How did you choose your colors?
A) Thank you. I have several regalia but the one I grab the most is my pink dress. It has paws on the sleeves and that dress in particular is
dedicated to my husband who works overseas. If you look closely you'll see several pins of his on it. He's motivated me to always dance and when I dance I dance for him and my kids.
Q) Do you have some favorite things that you enjoy about powwows?
A) Watching people smile, laughing and enjoying themselves, hearing the people sing and pray, watching all the dancers dance and smile. Knowing that behind every regalia is a story. My favorite pow wows are the local ones because they are more special and very traditional.
Dr Dawn Karima is the host of A CONVERSATION WITH DAWN KARIMA, a Native radio show that airs on TalktainmentRadio.com and its affiliates.
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