The Art of Native American Storytelling
with Delwin Fiddler Jr., Maria Ragonese and Briana Fenston (26 min)
In the Native American Cultures stories were not written down, they were passed along from memory from generation to generation, as well as expressed through music, song and dance.
In this pre-recorded video you will experience:
- Native American Flute Song
- Discussion about the power of storytelling through voice, music and dance
- Read-aloud story of The Grass Maiden Sacagawea.
- Live performance of the Hoop Dance which tells a story through the images created by the hoops.
Delwin Fiddler Jr. has established a non-profit organization, PAZA, Inc., to share his Native American cultural perspective with the greater public through art, education, entertainment, interactive and sustainability events and always welcomes collaborators and sponsors.
Mr. Fiddler and his associate, Maria Ragonese, work together as a team within the community for people to access Native American arts, culture and spirituality, and support. Please follow the donation link above to learn more about the current support effort, Native Covid-19 Response. Learn more about their background and their work below.
Delwin Fiddler, Jr. is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and a world renowned Native American performing Artist. The art of traditional song and dance was passed on to him by his relatives before him. He has been an award winning grass dancer on the pow wow trail since he was a teenager. He is also versed in hoop dancing, round dancing and the buffalo dance as well as playing the Native American flute and drum.
Delwin is a dedicated activist for the environment and uses his talents and his sacred medicine to actively support the preservation Mother Earth. In 2016, he spent six months as a Water Protector at the Standing Rock Reservation, joining with many nations from around the world to peacefully protest the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
Delwin’s Lakota name is Hehakapa Mahto (Elk Bear). He is the lineal descendant of the Elk Head Red Hair (Hehakapa Pahinsa) who is known in history for being the Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe and one of the signers of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. As the first born son of Hehakapa’s great grand daughter, this medicine passes on to Delwin to claim.
Aside from performing, Delwins work involves cultural awareness with cultural exchange to preserve his heritage and keep the traditions of his people strong for future generations. Through his newly established non-profit organization, PAZA - Tree of Life, Delwin hopes to reach many more people and communities with his performances, educational programs and presentations. He believes we are in the pivotal time of prophecy that his ancestors spoke of where we must all come to as ‘Rainbow Warriors under the Great Tree of Life’ to heal each other and Mother Earth. PAZA … One Life. One Voice. One People.
Maria Ragonese's early career was in Corporate America as an administrative assistant in the Financial District of New York City. After September 11, 2001, as someone who personally lost loved ones in the attacks, she became involved with the grass-roots organizations advocating for the 9-11 Families. This radically reshaped her life.
Since that time, Maria has devoted her life to working with healing ministries such as VNA Hospice, Crisis Text Line and UMC Stephen Ministry. Currently, she is working on her certification to become a Life Coach.
Maria is currently the Director of Administration and Programs for PAZA, Tree of Life, a nonprofit she helped to create that is dedicated to the revival and preservation of Native American Cultures. She has always had a deep appreciation and respect for the Native American plight. Her desire is to use her advocacy skills to better the lives of Native peoples everywhere, and bring to light the hidden knowledge and traditions that can help heal the world and people of all Nations.
Briana Fenston is a 2018 graduate of East Stroudsburg University, suma cum laude, with a dual BS degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education.
Briana has always had a gift connecting with children. Through her own struggles as a child with disabilities, she has always been an advocate for those with special needs and/or who are underprivileged. Briana is currently a RTII (Response to Intervention & Instruction) Teacher at the Easton Arts Academy in Easton, PA.
Briana has a deep respect for Native American history and culture and was honored to be asked to be an educational adviser for PAZA, Tree of Life, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the revival and preservation of Native American Cultures.