Courtesy of Trena Lynn Sutton
T’Sou-ke First Nation dancers on a European dance tour. All are cousins of Trena.
Trena describes the significance of the regalia worn in the photo:
“The blanket capes are called shawls. They are the Coast Salish version of a button blanket. Dancers wear the shawls when dancing in our traditional ways. Under the shawl we wear dresses that are usually black or dark coloured and the under dress must cover our knees and not be low cut. The men are wearing paddle vests with small wooden paddles sewn on that make a clinking noise when they move. The reason why they have paddles on their vests and why the women are holding the paddles is because paddles are a central item to Coast Salish tribes. The ocean, canoes, and paddles are often a big part of our regalia and our songs/dances because they are such a big part of our daily lives. Our headbands are woven from cedar bark. In this photo we are wearing the ties of the headbands at the front to show that we are from the ‘royal family’ (the family/bloodline of the hereditary Chief).”