In this episode Marty Richardson, a youthful, dynamic community leader of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe in Halifax and Warren counties. Nearly 80% of the state-recognized tribe lives with a six-mile radius of the unincorporated town of Hollister. As a teenager, Richardson started Stoney Creek, a drum-circle and singing group you young male members of the tribe. Richardson has always believed that encouraging young men to learn the culture and history their tribe, results in dedicated, proud leaders for the next generation. Stoney Creek still performs today at pow-wows and other cultural events around the country, and Marty Richardson still participates, though encourages younger leaders to step up and take leadership roles.
The Haliwa-Saponi tribe, like many other tribes across the country struggle to maintain active membership, and to keep people invested in the community. Tribes often create culture activities for younger members – dance instruction, regalia making, drum groups, culture classes – to invest in the tribe’s continued success. Often in these activities, older youth educate and take care of younger children, insuring a strong bond throughout the community.
Stoney Creek is a thoroughly modern drum group, however. The group’s members are influenced by modern hip hop, while still being firmly rooted in traditional drumming. “[With} Stoney Creek, we sing with attitude,” says Richardson of the singing and drumming group. By embracing contemporary culture, Richardson helps insure the continued success of Stoney Creek in the 21st century. And it helps bridge a generational gap and insures that folk culture is given the respect and prestige it is due.
Produced by Joseph O’Connell, with Evan Hatch and Joy Salyers.
Underwritten by Resourceful Communities and the North Carolina Folklife Institute
Interview with and performance recordings of Marty Richardson by Joe O’Connell (NCFI, 2016)
Stoney Creek recordings from the album Dedicated (Drumhop Productions, 2015) Buy your copy here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/stoneycreek4
Haliwa-Saponi Tribe website: http://haliwa-saponi.com
Learn NC, NC American Indian website teaching materials: http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nc-american-indians/7266
Stoney Creek, Drum group and singers, Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/StoneyCreekSingers