Attended the 11th Annual Winter Pow Wow over at PCC this past weekend. This was my fifth year going and I always love to spend practically the entire afternoon there. The experience always leaves me feeling peaceful and rejuvenated all at the same time….co-existing amicably within my heart, mind, and soul.
When one attends Pow Wows over a period of time, one begins to recognize the regulars. Not the spectators, but the dancers. Faces have become familiar to me, as do the elaborate regalia the dancers wear. From the Double Bustle Dancers, to the Fancy Dancers, to the Shawl Dancers, to the Grass Dancers. It’s beginning to breed a sense of familiarity in me, not in the “Oh, I’ve acquired knowledge of how they do pow wows” variety, but of the “Oh, I remember him or her from last time. I wonder how their grandfather is fairing as at the last pow wow they need prayers for him?”
The drums shook up my soul from its complacent slumber and my feet would not stop thumping to the rhythm of the heart. I shopped with the vendors (acquired a very simple but cool Dance Stick) and relished in the Natives’ community. It felt like home. Oh, and I devilishly indulged in some AWESOME fry bread, one of my culinary weaknesses. A little butter, a little honey, and you are on a first class ticket to heaven. Seriously.
I believe my favorite moment occurred when an Elder, who was a Vet of the Korean War, was honored with the Flying Cross and his high school diploma. I actually got teary eyed as he merely nodded at the medal in a I-Was-Only-Doing-My-Job matter of fact, yet embraced warmly the diploma presented to him by the school principal. Second place goes to the Native toddler, donned in traditional dress, going out into the center of the dance circle and enthusiastically performing the Chicken Dance. The drummers even played a special honor song for that little guy. Priceless.