Tewanima was a silver medalist in the 1912 Olympic games. His 10,000 meter run set an American record in that distance that stood for over 50 years. However, as a Hopi Indian, he experienced true Koyaanisqatsi.

Image courtesy
Library of Congress

In 1906 he was forcibly separated from his parents and community, handcuffed and marched 20 miles to Keams Canyon, where he and other Hopi youths were shackled and made to build a road. Soldiers then marched them another 110 miles where they boarded a train to Pennsylvania, 2,000 miles from home, to stay at Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

His crime was that of being born an American Indian, and the motto of the school’s founder was, “Kill the Indian, Save the Man.” Indeed, many children did die there due to starvation, disease, and physical abuse. He was forbidden to speak his language or practice his religion as he spent his days sewing shirts while he tried to learn English.

In his original community, Hopi males were expected to be runners, which is also a spiritual practice, and Tewanima was one of the best. Distinguishing himself repeatedly, he represented the United States in the 1908 Olympic marathon, coming in ninth. He hoped that that would allow him to go home, but he was forced back to Carlisle where he baled hay and posed for promotional pictures. Savage Hopi Indians Are Transformed Into Model Students

In 1911 he won New York City’s 12-mile modified marathon, and in the 1912 Olympic games he won a silver medal in the 10,000 meter event. In no picture of him receiving his awards in these events (or any others I have seen) is he seen smiling. Following six years of virtual captivity, he was allowed to return home, where he tended cornfields and herded sheep. He married a Hopi woman and had one child, who was taken away to a boarding school, became ill, and was returned home to die.

Tewanima is written for Flute, Alto Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello and String Bass. The melody of the second theme is based on Marco Lucchi’s “Incipit“. The piece also includes electronic expansions of the original, as well as the inclusion of the original twice.

The score is available at https://bit.ly/2YjQb7P

About GLSmyth

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This entry was posted in Alto Flute, Bass Clarinet, Cello, Clarinet, Flute, String Bass, Viola, Violin and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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