“Grandma Bear, please come out!”
Ed Edmo implored the audience in the Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery to repeat the request louder, until finally he produced the bear hand puppet and began to tell stories from numerous Northwest native tribes.
Audience interaction was a key component of Edmo’s presentation of storytelling. During one story of how the Columbia River was made, he had the crowd act out the legend of Coyote taking a stick to the top of a mountain, digging and singing a powerful song to create the river.
During the presentation, Edmo told numerous legends, read poems, and shared photographs and cultural items, including details about growing up at Celilo Falls before the falls were inundated by the construction of The Dalles Dam in 1957.
The art gallery’s current exhibit focuses on Celilo Falls.
Edmo is of Shoshone/Bannock/Nez Perce heritage. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, has collaborated with the Eugene Ballet Company and Tears of Joy Puppet Theater, along with appearing on the TV show “Portlandia”.