First Fish Ceremony

From the Clearwater Times, an article on a First Nations ceremony:

About 100 local residents, aboriginal and non-aboriginal, from Clearwater, Barriere and other North Thompson communities, attended a First Fish ceremony hosted by Simpcw First Nation at the Raft River salmon viewing platform Wednesday afternoon…..

The event started around noon with the construction of a traditional pit oven.

Salmon, as well as potatoes and other vegetables, were layered in the pit with fir boughs, saskatoon branches, rose hips, grasses and rocks. Five hours later the contents were removed for a feast.

While the food cooked, members of the Chu Chua youth group and others took part in traditional games such as Lahal.

In the Lahal game, participants divide into two teams. Two members of one team hold a bone in both hands. Members of the other team try to pick which hand holds a white bone. Finding which hand holds a white bone means winning a stick. The game ends when one team has all the sticks. Other participants beat hand drums and sing while the game is going on. Experts at the game use many specific had movements, maneuvers and tricks.

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