'White Roots of Peace' Indian Troupe To Perform Today in Memorial Hall

To the outside world he is Tom Parker, but other Mohawks call him Sakokwenonkwas. He is one of six members of The White Roots of Peace, a Mohawk group which will stage a performance today in Memorial Hall styled after a traditional longhouse meeting.

Peabody Museum will show exhibits of Indian crafts and an Indian-made film today in conjunction with the 2 p.m. performance.

Parker will be one of two speakers at the gathering, but he is unsure of his topic. "We're working spiritually," he said yesterday. "When people arrive we'll determine what kind of atmosphere they bring--what spiritual thing is needed for them."

The performances will she included audience participation in social dances of the Mohawks--among them the round dance, the fish dance and the rabbit dance--and singing by two members of the group.

Mohawk Religion


All six members of the group are adherents to old Mohawk religious beliefs. "One of our main projects is to inform people of the U.S. what our beliefs are, so they'll respect them," Parker said. He turned the performance more a "cultural exchange" the an entertainment show.

A second purposes of the groups is to encourage traditionalism among Indian themselves. Parker estimated that of 67,000 Mohawks on his reservation, only 200 consideral themselves traditionalists.