Saturday, March 14, 2015

Hobiyee 2015, Gingolx, BC, Canada

Hobiyee is an annual celebration of culture for the Nisga'a Nation. This year's celebration "Honoring Our Grandmothers," was hosted by the Nisga'a Village of Gingolx, a quaint coastal village located in northwest British Columbia, Canada, but a stone's throw from the Alaskan panhandle.

Although the rain came down steady in the fog ridden inlet, the rhythmic drumming, singing and dancing inside was heartwarming and uplifting. The traditional outfits and costumes worn by the elders, drummers and dancers, young and old alike, were beautiful and ornate.

The stories were told from generations passed on and the youth had the opportunity to take it all in and "don't forget" was the message as the elder telling the story was told by his ancestors.

The Hobiyee celebrations are traditionally at the end of February celebrating the return of the Oolichan fish to the rivers bringing the first opportunity to replenish food stores. The Oolichan are small oily fish that are the food source of a variety of prey up the food chain and are used in a variety of ways by the Nisga'a people including making oil. To the delight of the Nisga'a, the Oolichan are followed closely by Spring Salmon, and many other species of sea life and birds looking for a meal after a long winter.

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To read a more detailed traditional explanation of Hobiyee as told by the Nisga'a, click the link below.

Nisga'a fisherman harvesting Oolichan on the Nass River.
Oolichan ferment in a holding tank to be cooked down for other uses.


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