Secret of the Dance

Orca Book PublishersSKU: 9781554691296

Alfred Scow, Andrea Spalding
Grade Levels:
Two, Three, Four, Five, Six
Kwakiutl, Kwakwaka'wakw, Pacific NW
Book Type:
Orca Book Pubishers
Copyright Data:

Sale price$12.95


Secret of the Dance is a picture book tells the fictional story of an nine-year-old Kwakwaka'wakw boy who witnesses a Potlatch Ceremony in 1935. Retired provincial court judge, Alfred Scow, recounts the event to Andrea Spalding about this once forbidden ceremony. The federal government passed legislation prohibiting Potlatch Ceremonies in 1885. These important ceremonies were often held in private by families because if caught the participants could face prison time or have their regalia and masks confiscated. The moving account of a family potlatch is told with sensitivity and wonder by a young child who later in life danced in potlatch ceremonies that celebrated the family's cultural and spiritual traditions. The federal government repealed the Potlatch Law in 1951. The picture book is illustrated with care by Darlene Gait. An information page about the history of the potlatch as well as a glossary is provided.

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