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Hummingbird - Native American Stories

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RELEASED: February 22nd 1996
TOTAL LENGTH: 00:47:52
FORMAT: 320 kbps MP3
GENRE:Audio Book, Spoken Word, World/International

Anne Jennison originally recorded in these stories in January 1995 - during the heart of the Winter storytelling season. "Hummingbird: Native American Stories" received a 1996 Honor Award from Storytelling World Magazine. This CD celebrates the 20th Anniversary re-release of “Hummingbird: Native American Stories" in 2016.

Why Hummingbird? When my husband Charlie (a professional musician) and I were newlyweds - and brand new Baha'is as well - we gained inspiration about the equality of women and men from a passage in the Baha'i writings that likens the world of humanity to a bird, both of whose wings need to be strong in order to fly. For a long time we wondered what kind of bird would be the best symbol for our personal and artistic partnership - a nightingale perhaps? - And then it came to us: Hummingbird! Of course! Because of the wonderful Seals and Crofts song, the imagery of Hummingbird as a symbol to represent Baha'u'llah has become very well known within the American Baha'i community. After that Hummingbird became Charlie's and my very own artistic and spiritual symbol, as significant to us as a nine pointed star.

Let me share a little personal story with you: in 1992, Charlie and I both sang in the 2nd Baha'i World Congress Choir in New York City (Charlie had also been a member of Do'a World Music Ensemble for 6 years and was playing a reunion concert with them at the World Congress). One evening at a reception for the many musicians who were lending their talents to the World Congress events, I had the opportunity to briefly meet Jimmy Seals - and so I grabbed that moment to ask him why and how Seals & Crofts had come to use the Hummingbird as the inspiration for their song. Jimmy confirmed for me that when they were writing their song, Jimmy Seals & Dash Crofts had sought & received permission from the Universal House of Justice to use Hummingbird as a symbol for Baha'u'llah in the Americas. This made so much sense to me, given the role that the Baha'i Writings say the Indigenous peoples of the Americas will play in the global growth of the Baha'i Faith.

In Native American stories, Hummingbird is usually seen as sacred and the bringer of sacred gifts, almost magical with its flashing colors and amazing flight patterns. Almost every Native American culture has a Hummingbird story, however the stories are as elusive as Hummingbird itself. You have to be very patient - and listen very well - if you want to catch a story of Hummingbird - the Little Wind Dancer! But when Hummingbird shows up, something wonderful is about to happen and there are deep spiritual lessons as well as entertainment to be had from listening to the stories.

About Anne: Anne Jennison comes from countless generations who've lived in the Northeastern Woodlands, but Anne's worldview is also shaped by having lived in such far-flung places as the Midwestern US, Southeast Asia, the Southern US, and Europe, as well as New England. In addition to being a member of the Baha'i International Community, Anne is a Native American Storyteller with European and Abenaki heritage: a dyed-in-the-wool New Englander. With Master's degrees in both Baha'i Storytelling and American History, Anne brings a wealth of knowledge - polished by more than 25 years as a performing storyteller - to her retelling of these timeless stories about Nanatasis -Hummingbird -The Little Wind Dancer.

Acknowledgements: With thanks to Doug Lipman for his excellent mentoring and in-studio storytelling coaching, Charlie Jennison for his support of this project and for the gift of his beautiful flute music, Amanda Jennison for lending her sweet voice, Georgianna Jennison for her loving encouragement, and Jeff Landrock for his great ears and skills as my recording engineer. Thanks also to Simon Brooks for his photography.

Anne Jennison - Hummingbird - Native American Stories

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