Tokahe, Jacobi, Okte Sice
In order to get the kids focused and working, we explained that their final animations will be judged and that the winners will receive prizes. The prizes include two mp3 players and two digital cameras. Descriptions and requirements to receive the prizes are below:
The possibility of prizes motivated the students to work much harder than they had been in the past. They worked diligently on their projects, incorporating concepts like duration of actions, different camera views, and setting vehicles (example: a man riding a horse). They are really starting to make progress, and it’s amazing to see. I will post some video of their work when the workshop is over. :]
After class, we made spaghetti and meatballs to have later in the evening, and Anica and Tracy and I all went over to Chanda’s. Together, we drove about ten minutes down the road, and then another ten minutes off-road (through the hills and the grass) to get to Chanda’s mom’s house. There, we got to see the horses. Anica and Tracy went riding with Chanda’s husband, Weldon. I stayed back with the kids and Chanda, which proved to be a good decision since the horses were not well trained for new riders. Anica was even thrown from her horse once.
At Chanda’s house, I watched the kids. Chanda’s three boys and Chanda’s brother’s daughter were all playing around on the ranch, petting the horses that weren’t out with the others. Chanda’s oldest son is named Tokahe, which is Lakota for “The First,” and he is six years old. The name comes from the Lakota creation story, where Iktomi (yes, the same trickster and shapeshifter who the kids are using as their main character in the animations) called the humans from beneath the earth, and Tokahe was the first to step out onto the land. Her second son is named Jacobi (three years old), after some baseball player. The youngest is Okte Sice (pronounced Ohkteh Sheecheh) is about a year old, and they mostly call him Okte or Baby. Okte Sice means “Hard to Kill” in Lakota, and the baby is named after his father’s Lakota name. The little girl is Kianni.
Most amazing about these kids is that they grow up around the horses, so they aren’t even remotely scared. Tokahe was helping saddle them. Okte cried from the second the horses arrived at the house until he was permitted to sit on one of them. At one point, Chanda and I turned our backs on the two littlest ones. A couple of minutes later, we looked over, and they were feeding the horses all by themselves! I loved getting to see the kids, learning about what it’s like growing up native, on a reservation. They seem to have such wholesome lives at young ages. It’s not until later, like our middle school students, that kids around here start to get mixed up in drugs and teen pregnancies.
Anyway, it is truly beautiful out here, and I love it.