Native Americans share culture at South Allegheny
Members of the Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center shared traditional clothing, songs and dances with South Allegheny Middle School students who are learning about early people and cultures.
An assembly was the culminating activity for a seventh-grade lesson in American cultures. Teacher Janel Biagiarelli welcomed Michael Simms, Krisa Spangler and their 10-month-old daughter Ashlynn JoElla Simms to give students a real-life look at aspects of Native American culture that remain in today's society.
“We've learned about the culture, and the students have done individual projects,” Biagiarelli said. “To see it and experience it firsthand was great for them. Our presenters did a wonderful job, and they got the kids involved.”
Students participated in the Snake Dance with Spangler, who took them through the aisles of the auditorium in a serpentine pattern. They took to the stage, forming a circle around Simms as he performed the warriors' Sneak-Up Dance.
Students Joe Hernandez and Maddie Klein described the presentation as cool and nothing short of exciting.
“It corresponded with everything we learned,” Maddie said. “The coolest part was the way they used their voices to make songs that don't sound like words to us. It's a whole different language.”
“It was so unique — their dress, the way they sang,” Joe added.
Simms is of Cherokee and Seminole descent, and Spangler is Mohawk. They visit regional schools often to share their culture.
“We do these presentations to show kids that, while we live amongst you, we have our own identity and culture that we keep alive,” Simms said.
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.