August 02, 2007

Native magician performs on, off rez

Native American Tamaka is a modern-day Merlin[T]he most unusual place to see Tamaka perform is on a Native American reservation, where he combines magic with traditional Indian storytelling.

Tamaka explains that traditionally native storytellers used special effects to keep the audience's attention. They would use tricks like throwing something into the fire or beating the drums for culmination. "What I do is just another version of that," says the magician.

Yet these performances are much different from his other shows. Tamaka gets an approval from the elders before he includes anything ambiguous in the show like stories from other tribes or tricks with objects that may be sacred.

His main goal in performing for the Native American community is to teach them about self-esteem. He says that the reservations have a problem with alcoholism and lately methamphetamine has also made its way into the community.

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