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Sometimes we glimpse God in a crowd of students...

Our Drum Group singing the Prayer Song.

 At my school, this week is "Homecoming Week." In addition to a parade and football game (coming up on Friday... I’m sure there will be pictures!), we also have a special celebration to honor seven young men and seven young women from our high school who the staff have selected as exemplary witnesses to living the Dakota Wicohan, or Dakota Way of Life.

This afternoon, all 651 Tiospa Zina Tribal School students, kindergarten through grade 12, crammed into our gym for the "coronation." Here are a few pictures, but I invite you to also visit my program’s website for a student-composed description of the event.

First, the pics-

About half the crowd! Teachers, staff, and relatives too.

On the left, with the Eagle Feathers, is the school’s flag (an
eagle staff). In the middle, bottom, is a drum (considered sacred)
resting on its side, so you’re seeing the rawhide stitching and
the edges of the drum heads. On top of it is a feather hat,
worn by warriors who have earned the honor. It will be worn by
the young man selected for this year’s wicasta.
To the left, bottom, is a beaded case for the feather hat.
On top of it, white, is a beaded "crown" for the young
woman selected for this year’s winyan.

The seven women winyan nominees.
Women wear ribbon skirts and/or a dance shawl.

Here's a shot of the young men wicasta nominees.
The men wear ribbon shirts.

After the wicasta and winyan are announced, the drum
group sings an honor song as all present (yep, all 651 plus!) walk
by to shake each of the nominee's hand. 

Here's the students' summary, with a few photos they picked out for their website, as well as a recording of a snippet of the honor song. When you see their summary, you'll also meet the two of my students who were nominees!

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