The southern end of Vancouver Island, North America’s largest Pacific Island, is the traditional homeland of the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations. The Esquimalt Nation Dancers recently performed as a part of the Aboriginal Cultural Festival in Victoria, B.C. Through their performance of songs, dances, and stories, they shared their culture with the guests in the audience, welcoming them to their homeland in a traditional manner. Photographs of their dances follow below the symbolic squiggle.
Caution: these are not “powwow” dances nor do the dancers look like the stereotypical Plains Indians. Traditionally, visitors to the village would be greeted with dances, to welcome them and to bring them into harmony with the village. The dances shown here were public performances, not sacred dances, and photography was allowed.