Piscataway Indian Nation Performs at FAU

Dylan Bouscher

The Piscataway tribe from Maryland was already going to be in town before Multicultural Affairs invited them to perform. “It just happened to fall into our laps,” said Juan Izaguirre, MA Director.

The Piscataway Indian Nation, performed nine cultural dances to celebrate Native American ways of life on Nov. 14 at 6 p.m., in the Student Union. The dances expressed battles, hunting and other aspects of Native American life.

“It’s important to educate ourselves on the variety and diversity among the tribes in Florida, the United States and native peoples all around the world,” said Terry Mena, Associate Dean of Students.

On inviting the Piscataway tribe to perform, Izaguirre said, “It just happened to fall into our laps. In working with the other campuses, we tried figuring out what would be the best bang for the buck.” He received an email from the Piscataway Indian Nation agency describing the tribe and their performance.

“The dates worked out for all our campuses, Davie, Boca and Jupiter and we invited the Piscataway to present their Native American culture from a different point of view.”

One of the dances, called the war dance, represented a warriors’ preparation for battle. The performer stomped in the center as he pretended to search for his opponent in the distance. One volunteer stepped into the center and proved her bravery by touching the warrior’s arm.

Javier Engativa, mechanical engineering junior, was passing through the Student Union and decided to stay and watch. “I think what’s going on in native cultures everywhere is relevant to everyone,” said Engativa.

Marc Tuyac, the Piscataway drummer, explained the purpose behind each of their dances. “After the days of the buffalo hunt came to an end, our people needed to express their pride,” said Tuyac, about the fancy war dance.

Tuyac then switched gears and invited couples in the audience to take part in the Rabbit dance. Tuyac encouraged students in the audience to “get yourself a partner, it’s a fun dance, it’s an easy dance.”

After the performance, the audience was invited to ask questions and take pictures. Tayac added, “We hope that when you leave tonight, you’ll leave with a deeper appreciation for, understanding of, and interest in Native American culture.”