Tulalip elder performs Indigenous songs, stories

Johnny Moses, his sister used voices, simple percussion instruments

CAMERON SHEPPARD, Evergreen reporter

The WSU School of Music hosted Tulalip elder Johnny Moses at Bryan Hall Theater to perform traditional Indigenous songs and stories.

Moses was raised by his grandparents on Vancouver Island, British Columbia where he learned native traditions and music. He said he believed it was important to learn the many songs of his friends and relatives of different languages and tribes.

Moses and his sister performed Indigenous lullabies, musical fables and healing songs. Many of the songs were revealed to be humorous after Moses told the audience their English translation.

The duo performed each song using only their voices and a few simple percussion instruments such as rhythm sticks, a bell and a traditional hand-drum.

“I am so grateful to be here,” Moses said. “I am so grateful for these songs.”

The WSU School of Music hosted this event as part of a once-in-a-semester musical convocation, in which they will feature performers of diverse musical styles.