December 10th, 2013 Last Updated on: December 10th, 2013
Powwow MC, Powwow Singer, Gourd Dancer, Storyteller, Musician! Choogie Kingfisher is nationally known for his love of Native Culture and his participation in the powwow trail. Proud of his faith, his family and his Cherokee citizenship, Choogie Kingfisher recently shared his perspective on powwow highway.
Q) You do it all! Powwow MC, Gourd Dancer, Singer, Performer, Storyteller! Should we start calling you “Mr. Powwow”?
A) In our area I most definitely am. I serve as MC in many dances we have here. I also dance the Gourd dance and enjoy sharing the arena with other dancers. The dance has changed over the years so many of my memories are of days gone by. It is still good to see all my family and friends and to sing and dance for those that are no longer able to.
A) I am full blooded Cherokee with lineage in the Kituwah, Natchez, Chickamagua,Cherokee bands. I have been taught by elders such as my grandmothers and grandfathers as well as other elders and individuals. I have been raised to respect all life and to always look passed those things that seem to hinder our lives. To give a person a chance at living life instead of criticizing and possibly causing those people to stray from their destiny.
Q) What do powwows and powwow music mean to you?
A) When I dance gourd I dance for those that have served. I dance in honor of family like my Pop,father-in-law, uncles, and relations that have served our country. I am proud to dance in their honor. It makes me smile and makes me laugh……it is my honor.
Q) Powwows are such an integral part of your life. What makes you passionate about continuing our Native ways?
A)Knowing that our charge from Creator is to take care of those that need our help. Knowing that Creator looks upon us daily and sheds grace and mercy over our traditions and knowledge as tribal peoples.When I play my flute or sing my hymns the feeling of God's presence surrounds me. I play not to entertain but to heal and celebrate life.
Q) How did you start playing? How did you know that this was what you truly wanted to do?
I started as I was researching the Cherokee river cane flute. I have always loved the sound and calmness it brought so naturally I was curious. I have never regretted learning to play.
Q) What do you think is the inherent, unique spirituality in your songs?
A) Native music has the power of the complete universe if we learn to work with it and not harness or control it. It can heal and change lives as no medicine can.Don't necessarily know if its popular but it reaches all who hears because it is not just music but prayers for those that listen.
I am an improv player. I play the way that I pray so each songs is a new creation. Throughout my “career” I have received awards and honors for being an actor, musician, storyteller, and leadership. I really enjoy my life as a Native man and I am teaching my children these ways as they grow up.
Q) When you play, what do you hope your audience will learn about themselves as they listen? What do you hope that they will discover about Native People and Culture?
A)My purpose is not necessarily that the audience would find their “Indianness” but that it would leave an impression of love, happiness,and respect.
Q) Where can we purchase your music? How can we see you perform? How can folks connect with you?
A)Check me out on FB……you will get a story before you get a song.
Q) What do you wish we knew about you that we don't already know?
A)That I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and without Him I am just another man….wa-do/shi-gi…Choogie Kingfisher
“Live a happy and wonderful life with a smile on your face. Even though you may wake up with problems that smile will eventually take hold.”
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