The Akwesasne Women Singers were formed in 1999 by four inspired and inspiring women: Bear Fox, Katsitsionni Fox, Elizabeth Nanitcoke and Iawentas Nanticoke. The women were driven by the need to protect and preserve the Kanienkeha (Mohawk Language), traditional Kanienkeha:ka (Mohawk People) customs and stories, as well as the oral traditions that are passed down from grandmother to grand-daughter.
The group was founded on the principle that songs are the easiest way to pass on the language and culture to future generations. Blessed with beautiful singing voices, the women put their talents and their messages together to form a singing group that would write and perform traditional Kanienkeha:ka songs. Since their inception, the Akwesasne Women Singers have brought their beautiful and powerful music to the community of Ahkwesasne.
Members of the group are in various stages of their lives - grandmothers, mothers, aunts, daughters, sisters and cousins. They are teachers, environmental researchers, social workers, and students. They take time out of their personal and professional lives to assist their community whenever possible. The women also volunteer for fundraising activities and provide assistance to individual community members when asked.
Aside from singing Haudenosaunee social songs, some members of Kontiwennenhawi are song writers, though they work with Elders and fluent speakers from Akwesasne to ensure the correct usage and spelling of words. These songs contain their own messages that they believe are important for the Mohawk people to know and remember. Their songs honor our Elders, Kanienkehaka teachers, Mother Earth, Grandmother Moon, and Grandfather Thunder. Kontiwennenhawi is committed to continuing the traditions of our ancestors and preserving our language and culture through their beautiful songs and inspiring efforts.
All events featuring Kontiwennenhawi — Akwesasne Women Singers:
Day 2: Opening Song
· With Kontiwennenhawi — Akwesasne Women Singers
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