10/10/2009

Pow Wow


Ever since I first saw a Pow Wow at St. Elizabeth's in Rockville, MD about 22 years ago, I've always found them of great interest. My latest was the October 10-11 - 1ST ANNUAL FREDERICK TRADITIONAL POWWOW at the Frederick Fairgrounds in Frederick, Maryland.
What always moves me is in the opening ceremonies when the MC invites all vets from WWI Afghanistan and Iraq to dance and be honored in the center dance as the audience is invited to applaud as all warriors who guarantee our freedom are honored and respected. Were that our larger society honored these men and women the same way.
(Self-interest note: Forty-five years ago, when my brother Bob asked my mother, Phyllis Mary Watson Sweeney Curley, about our ancestry, she gave the usual Irish, English, German, Pennsylvania Dutch and Scots that we all knew...but added that we had Indian blood in us. We all laughed and Bob asked her how this was possible. She responded, "Look at your nose!" and walked away. She never spoke of it again.
My mother always told the truth and I know many Americans kept their Indian blood quiet for obvious reasons. It could be a myth, it could be true. Who knows. I do know I have always had the utmost respect for American Indians, including Evil Knievel's cousin whom I knew when I worked at the Solar Energy Research Institute in Golden, CO in 1979.)
According to Gathering of Nations, the program for this event included: "The Grand entry was at noon and featured Native American dancers from the Cherokee, Haliwa-Saponi, Sioux, Chickahominy, Lumbee, Iroquois, Navajo, Coharie and others.Also shown were flute playing, tipi display, craft demonstrations, face painting & pony rides for children. The public will be able to purchase some of the finest Native American crafts available including turquoise jewelry, moccasins, rugs, beadwork, flutes, drums, books. Lots of great Native food including Buffalo stew, frybread, Buffalo burgers, Indian corn soup. MC: Keith Colston, Host Drum: The Creek Crew, Head Dancers : Ray & Brenda Silva. This powwow is sponsored by Pow Wow, a Native American owned & operated organizations, whose purpose is to educate the public about American Indians, past & present, through the arts."
Enjoy the videos below as they contain snippets of that education.

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