Atiskenandahate – Voyage to the Land of the Dead



At the convergence of the Algonquin and Iroquois worlds, a young couple breaks up. The young woman is killed by her partner. The man descends into the land of the dead in order to bring back the soul of the one he loves. In this allegorical world, many dangerous encounters with guides, who drive the young man into different ordeals. This voyage of initiation plunges him into the heart of his own ignorance where he discovers the treasure bequeathed by Amerindian mythology. In this way, he takes back his lost dignity and relearns to love.


Atiskenandahate – Voyage to the Land of the Dead, is a meeting with death that plunges us into the very origins of Amerindian history. It is a ritual drama that is based upon the concept of the longhouse, on its architectural and ceremonial structures that divide men and women into different clans. The audience was invited to sit at the ends of the longhouse according to their gender. The story unfolded over four days symbolising the four directions followed by the Sun and the Moon in their celestial journeys. This play denounces the violence done to aboriginal women and the loss of identity that leads to this violence.

Performance Dates

1988      October 26 au November 6 – Montreal, Studio  Theatre Alfred-Laliberté, UQAM

1989    Broadcast on the Radio-Canada program Les Beaux Dimanches

1992    Broadcast on Télé-Québec

The Team

Playwright/Director: Yves Sioui Durand

Co-director: Alejandro Moran

Actors: Marco Bacon, John Blondin, Joe Deer, Catherine Joncas, Margo Kane, Denis Lacroix, Véronique Régis, Annie Rouleau, Yves Sioui Durand & Annette Vincent

Composer of original music: Michel Smith

Composer of traditional Mohawk music: Joe Deer

Lighting Designer: Guy Simard

Set Designer/Technical Director: Sylvain Malo

Costume Design: Costumes plus

Mask Designers: Michel Pellerin, Philippe Pointard & Sylviane Sioui

Makeup Designer: Mikie Hamilton

Assistant Makeup Designer: Brigitte Beaudoux

Production Director: Michèle Houle
 Communication Directors: Claude Chevalot & Annie Rouleau

Media Contact: Marthe Boulianne

Producer: Ondinnok