by Hakima Betty Lou Chaika
A DUP dance, a memorial sculpture, Native Americans, Irish people, Ancestors, Nature-Spirit, and a humble ceremony. How do these all come together?
Here's the story: Two of our beloved Dances of Universal Peace leaders, Larry Taylor and Lynda Aiman-Smith, created the Hashtali Elements Dance for our North Carolina DUP community a number of years ago, Lynda being of Choctaw lineage. (Her Choctaw great-great-grandmother married an Irish settler.) A few years ago they moved away from us, and then, sadly, Larry, an incredible musician, passed away. My husband, Hamid David, is of another Native American lineage (his Ojibwe great-great-grandmother also married an Irish man), and we've always loved this dance. When we heard about the unveiling of a Choctaw Monument in County Cork, Ireland, where my Irish ancestors are from, we were determined to go to it. In September, 2016, we traveled to see the Choctaw memorial sculpture, “Kindred Spirits,” created by Alex Pentek.