"I knew I was Southern Paiute because my mother was, but she was reluctant to tell me anything about the Southern Paiutes or her heritage because she grew up in a time of prejudice," said Arvil Bird.
But, his curiosity made Arvil look further into his ancestry and he was drawn deeply into Indian ways.
"The way they lived, their religion, just everything about it I just fell in love with," said Arvil Bird.
And especially their music.
"Well, I let the music inspire me. I started to write music about animals and their spirit totem powers. When I played what was really in my heart it had a tribal feel to it. It had a tribal content, so that's what has been coming through in my music," said Arvil Bird.
Bird finds that following his heart and playing his music honors both his Native American and Celtic roots. And, success comes with his winning the "Artist of the Year" at the Native American Music Awards as well as how people react to him in concert.
"People tell me about how moved they were during the performance by the sound of the violin, by the message I bring with the animals or by my just speaking the truth of my life," said Arvil Bird.
A life made richer by revering the past.
"What I'm doing has brought me happiness, and I feel a sense of fulfillment and peace in what I'm doing," said Arvil Bird.
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