Although there is in some respects a cultural accommodation and a positive integration of some of the materialistic products of a White capitalistic society, the negative consequences of cultural collision are played out in the lives of the women and men who constitute the Native community of Wasaychigan Hill Indian Reserve, Manitoulin Island, Ontario.
The production then relocated to the Royal Alexandra Theatre inthe first work of aboriginal theatre on that stage. It occasioned critical controvery over the portrayal of the denigration of Native women by the men.
On an Indian reserve or "Rez"the men band together to protest an all-girl hockey team. But the violence and anger are presented initially as farce. Painful experience becomes the subject of humour, the only way in which it can be surmounted or endured.
This inversion of tragedy as comedy is prevalent in Native writing: Although the mood darkens with the rape of Patsy Pegahmagahbow and the death of Simon Starblanket, and the Rez descends into chaos with the playing of the hockey game, harmony is eventually restored when Zachary awakens from his nightmare -- which has comprised the preceding action in the play.
Perhaps Highway is suggesting that the nightmare of the colonization of the First Nations in Canada must be witnessed and acknowledged, but that it need not preclude the possibility of domestic and social harmony. He in effect uses the language and aesthetic forms of the colonizers to tell the story of his own people.
As in The Rez Sistersthe Trickster figure, Nanabush, observes and interacts with the characters and the action. Nanabush is performed as various manifestations of women who embody both the despair and the hope of the Rez: Gazelle Nataways, the sexual predator who spreads discord and chaos; Patsy Pegahmagahbow, who incorporates the traditional past and the hope for the future; Black Lady Halked, who embodies the self-destructive habits of the Rez, the consequences of which are disastrous to the innocent as well as the guilty.
The characters in Dry Lips are not simply victims, however. Simon Starblanket, whose last name reifies the positive nature of his quest for the spiritual beliefs of his ancestors, struggles towards self-realization in terms of a lost tradition and spirituality.
With his pregnant girlfriend, the granddaughter of a medicine woman, he intends to visit South Dakota, the site of Native suppression, to celebrate the renaissance of Native culture by dancing with the Sioux. Spooky Lacroix has embraced Christianity as his salvation, even though it is shown to be at the root of the subjugation of Native peoples.
He has in effect substituted a mindless addiction to Christianity for an addiction to alcohol, and uses his religion to intimidate others, such as Dickie Bird Halked, who uses the crucifix as a weapon of sexual violence against Patsy.
Big Joey postures as a warrior, in rebellion against the colonizers. He regards himself as the Rez stud, but he is completely irresponsible, denying his paternity of Dickie Bird Halked, and blaming the women for his powerlessness.
Dickie Bird Halked embodies the ills of the Rez society: These children suggest the possibility of a better future which can reconcile cultural and social difference.
As Highway has pointed out in an interview: I think it is very important that it continue to be so to prevent the stagnation of our imaginations, our spirits, our souls.
What I really find fascinating about the future of my life, the life of my people, the life of my fellow Canadians is the searching for this new voice, this new identity, this new tradition, this magical transformation that potentially is quite magnificent.Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing Tomson Highway Tragi-comedy drama in two acts by Tomson Highway, first produced in by Native Earth Performing Arts and Theatre Passe Muraille.
Set in the fictional Wasaychigan Hill reserve in Northern Ontario, Dry Lips is a companion piece to Highway's earlier play The Rez Sisters.
The Rez Sisters focused on seven women from the community; Dry Lips, whose original working title was The Rez Brothers, is about seven men.
It is written in a mix of English, Cree, and Ojibway. Nov 05, · All in all, Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing is a good, and ultimately, important play. It takes on difficult themes, it uses language creatively, it does interesting things with the Trickster character, and it .
Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing Questions and Answers. The Question and Answer section for Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel..
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In Tomson Highway's The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, the cultural and spiritual values of Native and non-Native Canadians collide. The negative and positive consequences of cultural collision on characters leads, in some cases, to magical transformations.