In a continuing cultural exchange program with the Osage Nation in Oklahoma, local residents will have the chance to experience a Dancing and Singing Showcase by members of the Osage Nation on Monday, October 8th at the Hannibal Middle School Auditorium. Doors will open at 6 PM, with the performance beginning at 6:30 PM.

The evening program is open to the public, and is free for all Hannibal students. General admission at the door is $5.00.

The one-hour showcase is a very small part of the I’Lonshka - a four-day/three-night ceremony of singing and dancing. As Gideon Goodeagle, tribe member and dancer explains, “The ceremony itself is a reenactment of going to war in ancient times. It is a very complex ceremonial society, too complex to explain at this moment. However, each year in the month of June, three weekends are designated to observe the I’Lonshka. At that time, Osages from all over the world make their way to Osage County in Oklahoma. It is a great time for all Osages. It is a new year and a very festive atmosphere. A great tribal reunion. It is a time of remembrance, celebration, perseverance, and honor.”

During the performance a staff person from the WahZahZhi Cultural Center will be explaining the cultural significance of the dances, allowing audience members to get a glimpse of the rich Osage culture.

This showcase is part of an ongoing exchange to educate Hannibal students and residents about the city's earliest inhabitants. Past cultural exchanges have been lectures by anthropologist Dr. Andrea Hunter and an exhibit and lecture at the Hannibal Arts Council from the Osage Nation Museum curator Hallie Winter. That day, Hannibal Public School students in 3rd & 4th grade will have the opportunity to see a brief showcase and learn more about Osage culture.

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