January 7th, 2015 Last Updated on: January 12th, 2015
Albert Chacon (Cupeno-Cahuilla-Apache) is a photographer and documentarian with over 10 years experience in his craft. He is currently utilizing his skills to take on a documentary project close to his heart. Albert has been traveling from reservation to reservation to document the story of modern bird singing.
In case you're not familiar with bird singing, it is a form of music traditionally sung by the Natives of the southwest. These rhythmic songs are accompanied by handmade gourd rattles. The Cahuilla peoples have a bird singing tradition that honors each day of the year.
While filming this project, Albert had a chance to immerse himself into the culture when a respected elder Bird Singer invited him to participate. Albert picked up a rattle and joined in. He though, what better way to get the story out to the world than by becoming part of it?
“It was a dream of my own to participate in the culture my family left, and it was another to have a chance to record it … a couple of years into learning Bird Singing with the Elders, my much improved Documentarian skills allow me to tell the story properly. This in turn allowed us (the “We Are Birds” team) to show you better video of our experiences as they happen, by sharing.
In this video, Mr. Anthony Andreas III, Tribal Councilman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in Palm Springs California shares Bird Singing and Cahuilla history.
The most recent video in the series shows us Bird Singing Royalty, Michelle Andreas. She shares her part of Bird Singing history that has been passed down from her father Anthony “Biff” Andreas Jr. (Head Bird Singer / Cultural Preservationist). Michelle shares Songs she has sung along with her father, along with some passed down conversations about Bird.
Do you know any bird singers that would like to be a part of this project? The producers of “We Are Birds” are looking for you! Elders, people of bird singing, bird singing families, their relations, and other types of Bird are encouraged to be a part of this documentary.
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