NATIVE AMERICAN STORYTELLING FESTIVAL
Yona FrenchHawk is a full-blooded Cherokee Wisdom Keeper and Ceremonialist. He was born and raised on the Qualla Indian Boundary in the Great Smoky Mountains in Cherokee, NC. This area is also known as the Eastern Band of Cherokees.
Yona grew up learning the songs and stories of his people. There are less than 300 Full-Blooded Cherokee that remain out of a documented 50,000 enrolled members in the federally recognized Eastern Band of North Carolina and Western Band of Oklahoma. To keep his traditions alive, Yona is honored to bridge the ancient past to the ancient future which is in constant need of support.
Yona is a well respected ceremonial and community leader and shares the meaning of traditional ceremonies as a way of life as it was shared with him by his Grandfather. He shares in the vision of how the Mens Warrior society was formed to support and honor the Sacred Feminine. The Cherokee Prophecy, alive in today’s Seventh Generation, speaks of bringing that medicine back into balance. We are all one indigenous tribe of the Turtle Island. Peace, Love, and Unity, are the essences of spirit that will nurture the healing of the future. The rainbow that illuminates our destination as a Spirit Nation.
Yona offers his BirdClan gift of song and storytelling plus ceremony of the Eastern Cherokees. This time honored, ancient knowledge bridges the new age thinking to the ancient past and traditions. The time of suffering and sacrifice is over because our ancestors prayed for a better and more prosperous life. It is time for us to receive the gifts that so many have given. We can honor their voices and visions by accepting and sharing the abundance life has to offer. http://www.yonafrenchhawk.com/
PapaJoe is the one of those characters you expect to find wandering through the pages of an old children's picture book. And when you see him telling a tale, long beard wagging, the explosion of expressions, the range of voices, the depth of emotions; you'll know some of the reasons he is so loved by his listeners. Whether he's presenting an ancient folktale or sharing one of his many incredible experiences, one can't help feeling a part of the story.
A New Hampshire nomad, he lives in the vehicles he drives from show to show. His home is wherever he is and that, in itself, is a clue to who he is. A minimalist, his daily life is a story. He gathers his drinking water from local springs and much of his food from the forests he loves. Even the clothes he wears are an illustration of his lifestyle. Those white, button-up, 100% cotton shirts he's almost always seen in; cost him next to nothing from community thrift shops. And when they're worn beyond wearing, he turns them into other things; eliminating his need for single use products like paper towels and food wraps. His black denim pants become sacks and bags, protecting his few possessions from the constant wear of the vibrations and bumps inherent in a life on the road.
Little wonder he's a sought after speaker, leading discussions on waste reduction or minimizing human footprints in the environment. He's worn the same belt buckle since 1978, though he's replaced the leather a half dozen times, makes his tea with fresh picked pine needles, and washes with a different tea which he cold brews from a local astringent herb.
His earliest memories include listening to storytellers and telling stories, his first was a presentation of Dr Seuss's Horton the Elephant Hatches an Egg at age 3. He claims he was drafted into the ranks of a wave of the current renaissance storytellers while in his twenties, but his siblings say he was always telling stories. At this point, he's racked up over ten thousand live performances.
PapaJoe has toured across the USA, Maritime Canada, and much of Western Europe collecting and sharing tales, ancient and modern. In addition to his performance Storytelling, his artistry includes ambient flute, poetry, fabric art, and utilitarian sculpture. A non traditionalist, he is self taught and unique, making him the very definition of an authentic folk artist.
His stories have been published in books and magazines and his tales are told on six continents by hundreds of other storytellers, who see him as a link in their chain of oral transmission. PapaJoe is also one of the early explorers of the internet. He began operating computers in the 70's and was online before the world wide web. He started sharing his journal online before blogging was a word and is regularly featured on podcasts.
PapaJoe has several known Native ancestors and while that only adds 1% to his heritage, he has studied NE Woodland traditional telling and is the founder of Dawnland Storytelling Festival, a Native American festival dedicated to keeping those traditions alive in NH.
David Sharpe was born in Chicago, Illinois and was adopted by the mountains of North Carolina when he was two years old. he is a student of life who brings the curiosity of the clown, the presence of the mime, and the passion of the child to all the stories he tells. These stories are an invitation to join together on a journey into foreign lands and familiar landscapes of the heart and soul. David has been telling stories to children of all ages for over 40 years at camps, schools, churches… wherever and whenever the calling leads. He is particularly drawn to stories of earth wisdom and studied for many years with Anishinaabe elders, Grandmother Lillian, Grandmother Leona, and Grandfather Joseph Starman. Their ancient teachings and deep friendships shared many living lessons, most importantly to listen to one's heart. Here is a link to David sharing a gift of story at a recent Jubilee! Sunday Celebration: https://youtu.be/7zy8laPe0j4