DIAMOND — In what the Carver Monument's superintendent, Jim Heaney, called "the second annual storytelling festival," Native American Four Hills and President Theodore Roosevelt took to the stage and spun stories of their life.

DIAMOND — In what the Carver Monument's superintendent, Jim Heaney, called "the second annual storytelling festival," Native American Four Hills and President Theodore Roosevelt took to the stage and spun stories of their life.
On Friday evening, before a crowd of about 60 people, Mike Pahsetopah kicked off by telling, in song and dance, as well as in commentary, stories of his Native American upbringing.
In his tribe he is known as Four Hills, and he explained that the four hills for whom he was named were the humps of four buffalo. His "fancy dance" costume depicts the four hills as well as other symbols of his life.
Four Hills has been dancing for about 55 years and showed his ability and agility as he swooped and stomped throughout his presentation. He discussed "fancy dancing," telling the audience that it was born in the wild west shows in Oklahoma. He said the Native Americans who performed in those shows did traditional Indian dances, which are rather slow and methodical. However, the crowds seemed to want more movement, so the dancers adapted other forms of dancing into the traditional movements. Early on, they included parts of such dances as the Charleston and, later on, they even added a little Elvis or other modern moves into their act.
Four Hills noted that many stories of his people were told about "tricksters" who tricked other people or animals. With their tricks, they taught a lesson or moral.
Most of the stories he told involved animals. One story was about how the turtle won a race against a buffalo through trickery. Another was how the opossum came to have a long, hairless tail. Again, the animals used trickery to teach the opossum humility.
In a very dramatic performance, Four Hills invited the audience to participate in a rain dance. Following instructions from Four Hills' daughter, who had accompanied her father to the festival, the sound of rain soon filled the auditorium, to the delight of the crowd.
After Pahsetopah's delightful performance, Gib Young, portraying President Theodore Roosevelt, stepped into the spotlight. It was obvious that Roosevelt loved the spotlight and he wasn't afraid to talk about his large ego.
In a very interesting talk, Roosevelt told stories of his life as a young man, his travels to foreign lands, his political life, his cowboy life in the Dakotas, and his love of being the 16th President of the United States.
Always an outdoorsman, Roosevelt was very proud of his record of creating national parks, refuges, forests, monuments and bird sanctuaries. He noted that his administration made Devils Tower a national monument,"saving it from developers who saw it as a 'big pile of gravel.'"
He spoke about how the National Park Service was so poorly funded in the early days and how the US Army was used to patrol and guard such places as Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks. He credited the famed Boone and Crockett Club with getting legislation passed which provided rules and regulations and funding for the parks.
While in the White House, Roosevelt touted his greatest achievements as building the Panama Canal and sending the Great White Fleet around the globe as a show of American power.
Roosevelt spoke briefly about life in the White House where his family of six children and 26 pets lived for almost eight years. He also recalled his actions in Cuba and his famous charge up San Juan Hill.
In his presentation, he many times commented that, "I liked being President," and expressed his love of Americans who he declared the greatest people in the world. He was proud of the fact that Americans act on their dreams.
He declared that, "We dream bigger than other nations."
Both performers at the festival spoke freely of patriotism and of a belief in America.
The festival continued on Saturday with four performances. Young portrayed Roosevelt again with his tales of life in the White House. Other performers were Dianne Moran as Mary Chestnut, a women who wrote her memories of the Civil War; Kathryn Harris who portrayed Harriet Tubman, a slave who worked the Underground Railroad during the Civil War; and Bobby Norfolk who portrayed Scott Joplin, America's ragtime king.