Program of Lakota Indian songs planned at WMC

January 25, 1993

Kevin Locke, an artist, educator and National Heritage Fellowship winner, will present traditional Lakota Indian songs, stories and dances at Western Maryland College on Feb. 6 in the college's series, "The Legacy of Columbus: Indigenous Perspectives."

The event will include a hoop dance as well as Mr. Locke's interpretations of Indian flute music. It will begin at 8 p.m. in Alumni Hall, and is free and open to the public.

Mr. Locke, a Lakota of the Standing Rock Reservation and South Dakota resident, was one of 13 practitioners of traditional arts to win a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1990. At age 36, he was one of the youngest fellowship winners.

Bearing the rich Lakota heritage, Mr. Locke has traveled across six continents to perform and lecture on the unifying effects of diversity. He also has earned master of arts degrees from the University of South Dakota in educational administration and community education.

Through the dance, Mr. Locke tells a story of oneness, adding hoops of different colors until 28 of them are locked in a fragile, spherical shape representing perfect balance.

He reveals the passion of his native culture through the seven-note Lakota courting flute, which represents the wind and was used by young men to express love. Its use was nearly forgotten by the 1970s, when Mr. Locke and others resurrected it.

Finally, he adds songs and stories to his presentation to make his message come alive.

CBS News correspondent Charles Kurault called Mr. Locke a "brilliant young Lakota artist, and composer-scholar Louis Ballard described him as "the most outstanding interpreter of American Indian flute music of his generation."

Coming events in the Legacy of Columbus series include the film "The Primal Mind" on March 1 and a lecture, "The Ethics of Conquest: Spaniards and Americans in the 16th-Century Mesoamerica," by David Carrasco of the Mesoamerican Archive and Research Project, on April 5.

The series is sponsored by the Cross Cultural Exchange Program at Western Maryland College with the Carroll County Public Library, the Westminster Chapter of the American Association of University Women, the Women's Club of Westminster and United Church of Christ, Catoctin Association.

Information: 857-2265, or 876-2055, extension 265.

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