Otgoä (wampum) is a vital part of Haudenosaunee culture. Wampum are shell beads that are created from whelk and quahog clam shells. The brittle pieces are rounded, sanded, and drilled to make a bead. Because of the effort that is needed to make a bead, wampum is highly valued.
Haudenosaunee storytelling is not meant to just entertain but to also teach. Stories are used to warn against dangerous and bad behavior, uphold valued qualities, and teach good decision making. If you travel to different Haudenosaunee communities, you will discover that each community may have their own version of a story. There is no one version that is upheld over the others, but if you listen you will discover that although the details may be slightly different, the lessons taught remain the same.
The concert featured artists from Mexico, Colombia, and Puerto Rico singing décima verses in the manner of those countries. Décima is a verse form of ten lines consisting of eight syllables each. It originated in Spain in the 1500s but has spread throughout Latin America.
Currently, an "Extempo King" is crowned each year as part of the carnival in Trinidad. Three-time Extempo King Black Sage (Phillip Murray) has performed in New York a number of times along with other calypso masters including Mighty Gypsy (Winston Peters). In this scene, filmed at the Tropical Paradise, a Trinidadian restaurant in Brooklyn, Black Sage duels against a relative newcomer to the scene, Fat Man George. These picong performances preserve an important part of Afro-Caribbean culture and heritage.