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Read a Story - Joe Jacobs



Seven Dancers

As told by artist, Joe Jacobs

Seven children who were listeners at the Council Fires formed a secret society. In the night, they would gather around their own little council fire, dancing to the beat of their leader’s water drum. The leader’s name was Kahn-yah-dee-yo, and he wore a powerful necklace.

It was decided that they would hold a feast at their next meeting and each member would ask their families for food for the feast. Each one was refused and they gathered together with empty hands.

Kahn-yah-dee-yo said, “Never mind my warriors, we will dance without our feast –dance hard and look up at the sky– and no matter whocalls, do not look back.” He beat his water drum and sang a powerful witch song, and the dancers danced. Their hearts became light and they danced faster and faster, and soon they began to rise above the ground.

Their parents saw them dancing above the trees and called to them to come back. One dancer (the smallest) looked back and he became a shooting star. The other dancers rose higher and higher until they became flickering stars in the night.

When the Mohawk sees the stars flickering and dancing during the cold winter nights they say, “The little warriors are dancing hard tonight.”


Pictured Above:
Joe Jacobs , (b. 1934)
The Seven Dancers , 1976 ?
39.0 x 30.0 x 32.2cm
Purchase 1978
McMichael Canadian Art Collection


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