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Our New Theme Music / Question About a Book on American Indi

所属教程:American Mosaic 更新:07-25
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HOST:

Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC - VOA's radio magazine in SpecialEnglish.

(THEME)

This is Doug Johnson. On our program today:

We play a song we have chosen to be our new theme music ...

Answer a listener's question about the book "Hanta Yo" ...

And report about a celebration of American theater.

Contemporary American Theater Festival

HOST:

Shepherdstown is the oldest town in the state of West Virginia.Every summer, it presents several of the newest American playsduring the Contemporary American Theater Festival. Mary Tillotsontells us more.

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ANNCR:

Shepherdstown, West Virginia, is on a hill near the PotomacRiver. American Indians lived in the area long before the firstEuropeans arrived in the early seventeen-hundreds. Many of the firstsettlers were German. The main street in Shepherdstown is stillcalled German Street.

Shepherd College was established in eighteen-seventy-one to teachstudents languages and science. Every summer sincenineteen-ninety-one the Contemporary American Theater Festival hastaken place at the college.

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Ed Herendeen started the theaterfestival and continues as its director. During three weeks eachsummer, the festival presents new American plays. Some plays werewritten by famous writers. Some were written by those who are notwell known. Four plays are being presented this summer.

One is called "The Late Henry Moss." The famous playwright SamShepard wrote it. It takes place in the American West. Two brothersdeal with their violent past, the death of their father and familysecrets.

The Contemporary American Theater Festival is also presenting"Thief River" by award-winning playwright Lee Blessing. It is aboutthe love between two men from a farming community in the state ofMinnesota. The play tells about their relationships with each otherand their families from the nineteen-fifties to the present time.Another new play is called "Orange Flower Water" by Craig Wright. Italso takes place in a small town in Minnesota. It tells the story ofa man and woman whose love for each other hurts their families.

The fourth play is called "Silence of God" by Catherine Filloux.It is about a woman whose friend is a survivor of the killings bythe Khmer Rouge in Cambodia during the nineteen-seventies. The womanbecomes a reporter to find out why evil exists in the world. Shemeets with former Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot. Yet the meeting raisesmore questions than it provides answers.

Many people from the Washington, D-C, area travel toShepherdstown for the yearly theater festival. They want to be amongthe first people to see some new American plays.

Hanta Yo

HOST:

Our VOA listener question this week comes from Nigeria. EmmanuelKomolafe asks about an American book called "Hanta Yo."

The full title of the book is "Hanta Yo: An American Saga." Itwas published in nineteen-seventy-nine and was very popular. It soldmany copies. It stayed on the New York Times best-seller list fornine months.

"Hanta Yo" was written by Ruth Beebe Hill. It is the story ofnative American Indians at a time before white people arrived ontheir land. It describes the activities of two families of the SiouxIndian tribe from the seventeen-hundreds to the eighteen-thirties.The book describes the values of the Lakota or Sioux Indian cultureby showing their effects on a man called Ahbleza. The book is abouthis life and the people in his group, the Mahto.

SiouxIndian warrior
SiouxIndian warrior

People who have read "Hanta Yo"say the book describes many activities of the Indians' lives. Theseinclude working, hunting and caring for children. However, not allthe Indians are shown as good people. Some of them are violent andfull of hate. Women are shown as severely oppressed with little orno decision-making power. Children and animals are treated poorly.

Ruth Beebe Hill described all this as an Indian would, usingLakota words and judgements. She also linked the real world and thespiritual world in which the Sioux lived. Both were important to theSioux.

Ruth Beebe Hill studied the Sioux Indian culture for many yearsbefore writing "Hanta Yo." She was very careful about the languageshe used. She translated the book from English to the Siouxlanguage. Then she translated it back into English. She said thiskept her from using any words that were not part of the Lakotalanguage.

She also did not use words or ideas that were not part of theSioux culture. For example, the Lakota language has no word thatmeans "forgive." The word and the idea did not exist in theirculture.

Many people think "Hanta Yo" is an excellent book. However, it isbecoming more difficult to find. It can still be found in librariesand used bookstores. The book is still celebrated as a true pictureof a Native American culture that has disappeared.

New Mosaic Theme

((MUSIC FROM "LOVER'S LEAP"))

HOST:

Each week we play music on American Mosaic. We only play part ofeach song because our program is only fifteen minutes long. We tryto give our listeners a good idea of what the song is like.Sometimes this is difficult. The music we want to play today is agood example. The song is a little more than six minutes long so wecan't play all of it. However, we want to play as much as possiblebecause we think it is not only good, but different. We like it somuch that we have decided to make it the new theme for AmericanMosaic. Shep O'Neal tells us more.

ANNCR:

Many of you may know the name Bela Fleck. He has played here atVOA and we have played his music on American Mosaic. Bela Fleckplays jazz on the banjo. He and his band, The Flecktones, oftenexperiment with different sounds. Our recording today shows this.

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The song is called "Lover's Leap".It is on his record called "Live at the Quick."

"Lover's Leap" is unusual because Bela Fleck has brought togetherinstruments that are usually not heard in combination. These includethe electric banjo, French horn, oboe, bass guitar, electric drums,clarinet and a musical instrument usually found in the islands ofthe Caribbean. It is called a steel pan. Steel pans or steel drumsusually play music of the West Indies. Together, these instrumentsmake a very unusual sound. We think you will like it as much as wedo. So, we leave you now with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones playing"Lover's Leap."

((CUT 1: "LOVER'S LEAP"))

HOST:

This is Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today. And Ihope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC - VOA'sradio magazine in Special English.

This AMERICAN MOSAIC program was written by Shelley Gollust,Nancy Steinbach and Paul Thompson. Our studio engineer was CurtisBynum. And our producer was Paul Thompson.

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