Big Kenny Anointed into Blackfoot First Nation Tribe
Big Kenny -- his face painted yellow and red -- proudly donned a majestic native headdress with black-tipped feathers that pointed to the sun (seen here), as he was officially accepted into the Blackfoot First Nation Tribe at their annual Pow Wow last month.
Colorfully adorned men, women and children of four Blackfoot Nation tribes came together to sing sacred powwow songs, recite prayers and dance for ancient spirits in a sacred ritual to make Big Kenny one of their own. At the end of the ceremony, the country rocker was anointed with his Blood name, Miistakiis Skomaatii (translation: Mountain Boy). The tribe then prayed over him for about two hours.
It was a moment the singer-songwriter and humanitarian says he'll never forget.
"This was a real important thing for [the Blackfoot Confederacy] ... and it was incredibly important to me," Big Kenny tells Canada's Calgary Herald. "I felt the camaraderie and the beauty and the love of their culture -- and I was moved by it ... I want people to see what I saw."
Hoping to bring awareness to Native tribes and spotlight the beauty of their culture, Big Kenny joined the Blackfoot Confederacy Drum Group to collaborate on their album, 'Wake Up.' He then featured the group on a self-penned song from his own album, 'The Quiet Times of a Rock and Roll Farm Boy.' The drum group chants the title phrase 'Wake Up' on the song of the same name. (Watch the video here).
"They make music like none I've heard anywhere in my entire life. I can't tell you how emotionally moved I was the first time I heard them sing along with my song," he remembers, choking up. "That war cry is sung with such passion, you just have to pay attention ... When I'm heavy of heart, [powwow] brings forth a strength in me that I sometimes forget I have."
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