Storyteller Johnny Moses to Appear at Hamilton College
Moses is of mixed ancestry; he is half Nookta and half Tulalip, and carries themedicine teachings of his pacific Northwest ancestors. He is fluent in eightnative languages including native sign language and tells each story in itsoriginal language alternating with English.
Raised by his maternal grandparents who were both practicing shamans, Moseslearned his stories from his elders. "That is how we preserve our way of life- through listening to our elders," Moses says. "Everything has to bememorized. The elders were the ones to pass on the history and traditions ofthe nation and that is mainly through oral history and storytelling."
Moses is also a traditional healer and respected spiritual leader. At age 12,he was dying from cancer that had attacked his lungs, stomach and intestines.Chemotherapy had proved ineffective, and the young Moses was sent home to die,but he was healed by his elders.
In the Northwest coast nations, dreams are used for healing. "You could appearin the dream and whatever you needed healing in, that could happen in thedream," Moses explains. He dreamed that the cancer turned into food and hispeople would eat the food every night in his dreams. Within a year the cancerwas gone.
As part of his visit to Hamilton, Moses also will take part in a healingceremony on Friday, Oct. 10, at 4 p.m. in the Fillius Events Barn. His visitis sponsored by the departments of Religious Studies and Theatre and Dance, theCollege 100 course and the Office of the Chaplaincy.