Secret of the Dance


Watlkina slipped from his bed. In the Big House masked figures danced by firelight to the beat of the drum. And there, he saw a figure he knew.

This is a true childhood tale by aboriginal elder Alfred Scow of a delightful childhood memory and aboriginal tradition carried down through the years. Award-winning author Andrea Spalding collaborates to tell the story, to tell the secret of the dance.

  • ISBN: 9781554691296
  • Author: Andrea Spalding
  • 32 pages
  • Ages: 5-7
SKU: 9781554691296 Categories: , , Tags: , ,


The story of the ban of the Potlatch from 1885 to 1951 is retold from the perspective of a Kwick’wa’sut’eneuk child.

Watl’kina (now known as retired and elder Judge Afred Scow), was born in Alert Bay, B.C. in 1927. Along with co-author, Andrea Spalding, he recounts how, during his childhood, his family and clan defied the rules and hid potlatch activities from the authorities or risk being imprisoned or having their ceremonial regalia confiscated.

Young Alfred goes from facing great risks while witnessing a secret potlatch ceremony to openly celebrating his culture today with family, friends, government officials and visiting dignitaries. For Watl’kina, indeed ‘Life makes strange circles.’

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Additional information

Weight .119 kg
Dimensions 22.9 × 22.9 × 0.3 cm
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