“The pleasure and fond remembrance of performances he has presented here at the museum, and the sheer caliber of his character, are always at the forefront of my mind when I speak of Hawk – or, am spoken to about him. Hawk is an honest soul who, when approached on the topic of culture and music, epitomizes what I feel is the “whole-earth” Native artist’s passion for creative work. His passion for music is contagious and his attention to others and ability to listen to their input, intense. He is always at the top of my list when I recommend Native American presenters and performers. We truly appreciate the time that Hawk and his family have spent here at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center; the audiences have been captivated by his flute as well as his rich words.”
Jean Little, Manager of Public Events
Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center
“When the Tunica-Biloxi Pow Wow Committee organized its first inter-tribal celebration in 1995 we invited Hawk Henries to perform at a series of programs for local school students and at the weekend event on our reservation. He was referred to our Committee by Charles Cline who had organized several pow wow events in New England. Hawk’s first performance touched the hearts of our elders, tribal members, and everyone who attended. It was clear to all of us that Hawk carried the traditions of his Nipmuc people and shared it in music, art, and oral tradition that honored mother earth and all living creatures.
Every May the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana hosts four school programs over two days on Native American culture for up to 1,200 children. The program includes dance exhibitions, traditional drum, story telling, and a presentation by Hawk. These programs lead up to our annual Tunica-Biloxi Pow Wow with attendance of nearly 10,000 over three days. Hawk is featured in two performances throughout the weekend. He also displays his flutes and talks with our guests about his craft and the origins of his many instruments.
The Committee is proud to have had Hawk participate in our annual school programs and pow wow for the last 12 years. Our committee and tribal community celebrate the diversity of Native American cultures as well as the resilience of Indian people to preserve the old ways. As chairman of the Committee, I am privileged that Hawk and his family are part of our celebration and cultural renewal. They continue to enrich my life and the lives of my tribal community and community at large. We look forward to Hawk’s visit every year.”
John D. Barbry, Chairman
Tunica-Biloxi Pow Wow Committee
“On behalf of the National Museum of the American Indian I want to express to you my deep appreciation for coming here and presenting such superb programs last month. Your music, your words and your ability and willingness to spend long hours on the museum floor talking with the public provided our visitors with exactly what we in the department want to provide: beauty, wisdom, humor, and the experience of meeting Native people face to face. It is my guess that meeting you will be the strongest memory that many visitors took away from the museum, and that’s exactly as it should be.”
Howard Bass, Cultural Arts Manager
Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
“Hawk participates at many of our regularly scheduled cultural bazaars across New England, which generally draw a multi-cultural and international audience of several thousand. Their response to Hawk’s extraordinary music is always enthusiastic. Listeners come away with an understanding of the richness of Native American culture that would not be possible coming from a less talented or less gifted educator.
Cultural Survival wholeheartedly supports Hawk’s life-long commitment to the preservation of his artistic and cultural traditions through his work as a master flute maker, composer and orator. His dedication to Native American flute music contributes both culturally and musically to the re-flourishing of Native American cultures. His ability to communicate with Native Americans and those from different cultures and world perspectives makes him a powerful ambassador for the perpetuation of Maine’s Native communities and traditions in particular, and for improving cross-cultural relations in general.”
Ellen Lutz, Executive Director
“I have known you for ten years, and still I marvel at your ability to connect instantly, deeply and authentically with any ‘audience’ that may be before you, Hawk. Your presentations are, on every occasion and in every type of setting, nothing short of luminous. I suspect this is so because you rightly do not understand yourself to be a performer placed before an audience but a brother placed beside sister and brother seekers. Allowing the Spirit to breath through you into your remarkable instruments, you in turn breathe it out to all of us. Whenever I have been with you in settings like the one we shared this week, the same miracle occurs. We all become, at once, larger and smaller; we all become more truly who we are – infinitely significant and mercifully larger and smaller; as we inhale the breath you return to us, the breath that this world strives mightily to knock out of us, day by day. In your presence, we all become more capable of living up to our immense and humble vocations as human beings. To my mind, this is the very definition of a miracle, that mysterious occurrence of awakening to the Holy that we always inhabit but scarcely know. I have never failed to witness you perform this miracle, this simple and stunning feat of waking up those around you by your own wakefulness, Hawk.”
Kerry A. Maloney, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life
Harvard Divinity School
“Hawk’s pure flute music was interwoven into our program to create a meditative atmosphere in which individuals from many faith traditions could come together into the presence of the Sacred. His music provided space for quite reflection and inspiration, as we sought to deepen our experience of kinship with creation. The music brought healing and hope as we faced the challenging facts of global warming on our fragile planet Earth. His music reached across faith traditions. Old and young alike sat quietly in awe.”
Anne D. Burt, Initiative Coordinator
Maine Council of Churches, Interfaith Climate Change Training Conference
“I am a school counselor with eleven years of experience as a counselor and nineteen years total experience as an educator in elementary and middle schools. I have seen many presentations made by outside consultants on a variety of subjects. I can say without question that Hawk Henries’ presentation was one of the finest and most rewarding experience that I have encountered in the schools. Hawk has a very calming mannerism while making points about life that cannot be ignored. His humor and playfulness draw people to him. His music is only part of his presentation. For some, the music will be the best part while others will be enamored with his tales and views of life. For me, the best part about Hawk Henries is that he speaks from his heart. I believe that all who experience his words, music and presence will feel this honesty and understand who he is while coming away with a senses that we each have something to offer. I highly recommend Hawk Henries to speak at any engagement that is looking for depth, humor, entertainment and a sense of beauty that can only come from the heart.”
David J. Hanc, MS. Ed.
South School, Presentations on Tolerance (3-5th graders)
“Our students and faculty, alike, were delighted with his musical talents, warmth and charm during his performance. Hawk’s witty observations about everyday life and his description of his music’s connection with Nature added another level of sophistication to his presentation. The best indicator of our students’ excitement about Hawk’s music was the number of students who stayed after the show to learn more about this man and his instruments. People were talking for days about the amazing melodies he created out of his hand-made instruments. Everyone who saw his show came away with a new appreciation for this very special type of music. Hawk Henries’ show was nothing short of inspirational.”
Eric J. Turner, Assistant Headmaster
Kents Hill School, ME
“The children love his open and generous spirit, his fun-loving approach to sharing his knowledge of flutes, and music with them. He teaches as he plays, about joy, diversity, struggle – he embodies in his music the spirit of understanding life and death as a continuum, and the richness of walking on this earth. In this, his presence and performance always underscore what we strive to teach. And he is a lot of fun!”
Meredith Bruskin, Co-Director
Camp Chrysalis, for children & families dealing with HIV/AIDS
“…he educated the audience, in a gentle way, about his experiences with racism as a Native American man with a haircut different from that of the average American. Importantly, he highlighted the contemporaneity of himself and his family to the audience, describing the modern tools and materials he uses for his flutes, and the activities that they participate in which make them just like the families sitting in front in him. We felt this was important in promoting a greater understanding to the visitors of Native Americans as contemporary people, not relegated entirely to a culture and lifestyle of the past.”
Marion Wingfield & Elizabeth Hoover, Education Department
Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, Brown University