Grayhawk Perkins, St. Tammany's Native American storyteller, gave three presentations this month on an interesting variety of topics.
A "Lecture Dinner" featuring Grayhawk Perkins was held Wednesday, March 9, at Trey Yuen Restaurant in Mandeville. Grayhawk spoke to the Old Mandeville Historic Association about the Native American heritage of the Mandeville and Northshore area.
Perkins program was entitled "Native American Culture of the Southeast" covering the time period before and after European contact, from the mound culture through today’s native culture, lifestyle, men & women’s roles and covering stereotype misconceptions.
Perkins is an award-winning local Native American educator, musician, cultural historian, and storyteller.
According to the association's website, he was born in New Orleans to parents from the Choctaw and United Houma Native Nations. Grayhawk had the unique experience of growing up surrounded by an extended family that included naturalists, storytellers, and visual artists. Grayhawk grew up to become an internationally recognized authority on Southeastern Native American and Colonial cultural history.
For more information on his accomplishments, click on the following link.
He was also written up in the March-April 2021 issue of Inside Northside Magazine, which can be viewed at the following link:
One of his most notable achievements was when he gave a presentation for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, and it is available for viewing by CLICKING ON THIS LINK.
Grayhawk’s Storytelling Program March 19
Another special program on storytelling was offered at the pavilion in Fairview Riverside State Park, across the Tchefuncte River from Madisonville.
Perkins is well known locally, statewide, and nationally as a cultural storyteller, musician, and writer. He shared stories and discussed the importance of storytelling and maintaining culture and family history. He stressed not only the telling of stories from our past but also how to write stories for the future.
Grayhawk’s Shaving Horse Program
He also gave a talk about "Shaving Horses," and how they are used in wood carving. Demonstrations were given using both antique and more modern tools. Well-known area woodworkers are expected to take part.
Several shaving horses were available for participants to try out. A shaving horse is a saw horse type of structure, one that a woodcarver can sit upon and using a draw knife, shape a raw piece of wood into a work of art (or utility). Participants will learn how to use a shaving horse and make a cooking paddle and roux paddle using a draw knife and pocket knife.
Perkins is an official Louisiana Culture Bearer as recognized by the Governor.