Bird singing at Big Time Festival


The upcoming Big Time Festival at Kule Loklo will honor indigenous festivals when tribes would come together in summer months to trade wares and celebrate marriages. This year’s festival in the Point Reyes National Seashore will feature informational booths about native cultures; vendors; demonstrations of basket weaving, flint knapping and clamshell bead-making; traditional native dances; and a performance of bird singing by Mickey Salazar, a teenager of the Kumeyaay tribe in Southern California. Bird singing, said Ralph Shanks, the president of the Miwok Archaeological Preserve of Marin, “tells a story of history and travels and so on that the native people have done. It’s not primarily about birds, but sometimes the singing imitates animals.” (According to one telling, the Creator commanded a bird to send these songs to humankind, teaching them how to live in harmony with all living beings.) Mr. Salazar’s mother, Eva, will be demonstrating basket weaving at the festival. The 34th Big Time Festival, co-sponsored by the Miwok Archaeological Preserve of Marin, will take place on July 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free and attendees are welcome to bring a picnic; no alcohol is allowed.) A three-hour traditional storytelling forum sponsored by College of Marin will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 pm. at the Red Barn, with three California Indians from different tribes telling stories that have been passed down to them. Admission is $49.