When The Earth Was Like New
From World Music Press/Plank Road Publishing
by Chesley Goseyun Wilson, Ruth Longcor-Harnisch Wilson and Bryan Burton
Western Apache Songs and Stories
In this enlightening introduction to the history and culture of the Apache people, including a pictorial essay on the girl's coming of age ceremony, the Wilson family share their music, stories, skills and life experience to reveal what it has meant to "grow up Apache" in this century. Great-great grandson of the Chiricahua Apache Chief Cochise and the White Mountain Apache Chief Hashkedasila (Chief Diablo), and related to Geronimo, Chesley Goseyun Wilson was born on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, and raised in traditional ways. He has devoted much of his life to the preservation and promotion of Apache culture.
Chesley gives us a rare glimpse into the life ways of the Apache people, from the loving welcome given to a newborn baby, to the challenging transformation to womanhood experienced by an Apache girl during her important Nai'es coming of age ceremony. His songs are the songs of a vibrant culture ancient and also very contemporary. His words and voice are imbued with love for his heritage and especially for the young people who might be inspired to rededicate their lives to the ways of their grandparents. This is Chesley Goseyun Wilson's precious gift, offered to all who seek knowledge and understanding of the Apache Way.
The collection includes:
- 14 musical transcriptions of social, traveling, dance and game songs and
- Three musical transcriptions of Apache violin and flute pieces
- "Why We Have Night and Day" - A traditional story with songs
- 38 archival and contemporary photographs of instruments, ceremonies and social life
- The Nai'es (Changing Woman Ceremony) presented in careful detail with numerous photographs
- Fully-illustrated instructions for making and decorating the Apache violin (a unique instrument made from the Century Cactus plant) and bamboo flute
- Historical and cultural background about the Apache in general as well as Chesley's family and mentors
- Complete background about each song, most of which have never been published
- Traditional legends
The companion audio CD or cassette includes:
- Every selection and more, including songs and Apache violin pieces performed by Chesley Goseyun Wilson.