Medicine Fiddle explores the music and dance heritage of the Fur Trade among Native and Métis families on both sides of the U.S. and Canadian border. Fiddling and step (clog) dancing was introduced to Native peoples by French fur traders in the late 1600s and a century later by Irish, Scottish, and Scots-Irish trappers, lumberjacks, and homesteaders. Over the past two centuries, in the confines of family gatherings on remote reservations, this music has survived and has permeated the cultural memory of mixed-blood descendants. Some of the music and dance has absorbed a Native musical influence, and a Native spiritual culture sustains it. The stories, music, and dance are performed in family settings.
Medicine Fiddle is available on high qualtiy DVD or VHS from http//www.upnorthfilms.org
Golden Apple Award (1st), National Educational Film Festival, Oakland, CA, 1992. Ethnic Arts Competition, Golden Eagle (1st),Council on International Non-Theatrical Events, Washington, DC. Finalist, New York International Film Festival. "Best of the Fest," Two Rivers Native American Film Festival, University of Minnesota. Honorable Mention, American Indian Film and Video Festival, Tulsa, OK. Honorable Mention, Visual Anthropological Association.