A work in development by Kym Gouchie
Dramaturge/Director, Michelle Thrush
Scrapbooking Phase: December 2016
Scheduled for a Reading during ArtsWells, 2018 August 5th time TBA
Exploration & First Reading: December 2017
Long time ago... my blind granny told me that my hair was very sacred. She said our hair holds our memories. Keep it and to never leave it laying around otherwise someone may use it for bad medicine. “Kymmie, always take good care of your hair”.
The concept for ‘Blood Runs Through My Braids’ was inspired by Kym’s recent haircut that took place on a full moon just a few days before she arrived in Wells. With her six-inch freshly cut braid in hand, she set out to explore the many aboriginal cultural teachings and worldviews. Kym gathered pictures, images, events, memories, drawings, dreams, concepts and desired outcomes. What emerged was an exciting discovery of her relationship with hair and how it informed her as a woman, mother, and artist. She learned about the significance that hair plays within her aboriginal culture and the integral role it plays in the identification of self and the balance of power. Her great-grandmother had kept her hair and burned it in monthly ceremonies. Intuitively, Kym has known the power and sacredness of hair. Hair represents status in her community; hunters kept their hair long so they could sense their prey; the cutting of hair exert control and power over someone (residential school); the cutting of hair on a full moon helps hair to grow thicker and faster (moving forward). To be asked to braid someone’s hair is considered a sacred honour. The foundation for the play is exploring themes of identity, power, greed, honour, trust and spiritual guidance
“Being an artist in the north has countless blessings and the Sunset Theatre is one of them. As a Lheidli T'enneh member and neighbouring First Nations community, I am excited to explore the ancestral memory and creative energy that the land in Wells BC has to offer.”
Kym will be joined by Michelle Thrush an award-winning film, television and theatre actress. An alumni member of Crazy Horse Aboriginal Theatre Company, where she served for a period of time as Artistic Director. She tours extensively through North America with her one-woman shows: "RECLAIM", "RIGHT NEXT DOOR", and her latest, "FIND YOUR OWN INNER ELDER". Her work with youth is her greatest passion with characters such as "Majica, the Aboriginal Healing Clown" and "Kookum Martha", a sprite old Indian Elder. Michelle explains laughter is a natural part of her culture. Her work with Aboriginal children addressing important issues in the community through comedy and performance is what Ms. Thrush enjoys best. Michelle is currently working the acclaimed ‘Making Treaty 7’ project. Michelle has worked on such projects such as APTN/Showcase series MOCCASIN FLATS, MIXED BLESSINGS and NORTH OF 60 for CBC. Feature films include the award-winning UNNATURAL AND ACCIDENTAL. This raw and in-depth film explores the tragic story of murdered and missing Aboriginal women.