Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pow Wow : The Grand Entry

We recently attended a Pow Wow, before taking any photographs we asked permission. Photographs are permitted, except during the Pipe Ceremony. A friend of ours is the Spiritual Leader of this Tribe. He smokes the pipe to begin the Pow Wow. He said the pipe had regular tobacco in it.. and maybe it did. It smelled pretty good to me. Anyway he puffs on the pipe and presents it first to the East saying something. I am close to him..within 15 feet and I still cannot hear what he says. He puffs and faces south then west and north. Then he puffs alot and holds the pipe to the sky and then puffs some more and presents it to the ground. Then as quietly as it started the ceremony is over. Tobacco is taken in a shell shaped dish to all the people that are going to be in the grand entry. The Grand Entry begins.

The Eagle Staffs and Flags

The Royalty came next, the elderly lady in the scooter is the "Forever Princess." I was a tad concerned about her, at one point she buzzed her scooter up next to me..she was smoking a cigarette AND she was on oxygen.

The Dancers..first the men..

Then the older women and women with small children. They encircle the entire group..dancing on the outer edges of the dancing circle.

When the Staffs and Flags have made a full circle, younger dancers join in.

A Pow Wow is a Native American gathering to dance, sing and visit. The Pow Wow grounds is made up of circles, the first circle in the middle is the circular shelter that shields the drum and the drummers from rain and the sun. Then there is the dancing circle, then the spectator circle, a covered area where you can sit. The circle beyond this is a walkway that is circled with tents and trailers, you can purchase bead work, jewelry, T shirts, fry bread, french fries, shaved ice, hamburgers, hot dogs..and yes even cheese curds!

Cheese curds are hunks of cheese covered in a batter that are deep fried..all melty and yummy!

This shopping/eating circle is surrounded by a parking circle, that is in turn surrounded by a camping circle with tents and RVs and campfires. Many people camp out at the Pow Wow grounds the entire weekend. Far Guy and I live about 8 miles away from the Reservation so we went for part of the afternoon..then we went back again in the evening for the Grand Entry. I had a blast taking photographs! :)


kbear said...

Great photos! thanks for sharing. happy you had a blast!

Rae said...

I bet the Native Americans from long ago would sure be surprised to see a Pow Wow these days. A scooter and cheese curds to name a few changes. Even what is smoked in the pipe is different. Didn't they use to smoke Peyote? Wonder what they would think of the Tshirts?
It was a very good post. It is nice to see that some traditions continue even with changes.

Anonymous said...

These are really colorful photos. I did not know you lived so close to a reservation - what an interesting day you had. Those chese curds look good. Yesterday I had corn nuggets - litte balls of yellow corn deep fried in batter. Good! Thank you for sharing your visit to the Pow Wow.

Becca's Dirt said...

Looks like a lot of fun. We have something aroung Thanksgiving at the Creek Indian Reservation nearby.

L. D. said...

My wife and I attended a Pow Wow up at Grand Portage many years ago. It was really interesting and fun. It is nice that they have hung on to that heritage, even though they are out there in our century making a living. Fried bread is one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing

Emma Rose said...

It is nice to see people of all ages participating. Is it by invitation only, or can the public attend a Pow Wow? Did Chance get to go?
Those cheese curds look yummy!

Kisses for Chance!
Emma Rose

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Connie, next time you're going to go to a powwow, please tell me so I can come too! So envious...miss the colors and sounds. Well, I guess I might not have been able to sneak away this time, but next time, let me know, and I'll try.

Mary said...

Fascinating costumes. Is this just one tribe?

Liz in PA said...

Wonderful Pictures Connie!

It must be a real honor to attend an authenic Native American Pow Wow. The colors and different styles of their clothing is beautiful.

I have seen a Pow Wow on The Farm Channel on Cable. But to see the Ceremony live must have been quite an experience!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Mary, Yes it was just part of one tribe. The Reservation we live near, is just a small part of The White Earth Indian Reservation. It is called Pine Point.
Emma Rose, Sadly Chance had to stay home. The Pow Wow was open to the public.
Rae, Yes a long time ago they used to smoke Peyote. I am not sure what they would think of the T shirt sales!!
What I found really nice, is that they didn't charge an admission or for parking..and there was a Tribal Police presence..lots of cops. The posters said, Public Welcome, Bring your own lawn chairs, no drugs, no guns, no colors.
It was fun, and I do have a few more photographs to share:)

Merry Mary said...

I love Pow Wows. I went to that one last year -saw lots of people I knew too which made it extra nice. You wouldn't think drumming could be so relaxing but I have a theory that it might be about the same tempo as a heartbeat so it you relax into it. You got some very nice pictures.

Anonymous said...

That is just fascinating. And look at all the lovely traditional costumes. Which tribe are these Native Americans from?

As for being on oxygen and smoking at the same time while whizzing around on a scooter... wow, that gal knows how to live on the edge! ;-)

Leah said...

It was a good day for picture taking - a bit cloudy maybe even misty.... It makes the colors so vibrant!

lisa said...

That is totally different than the pow wow I have been too. I have only been to one and that was quite a few years ago. They are really nice to go to!!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Lady Fi, They are part of the Chippewa Tribe.
LOL..that forever Princess was a sight to behold..she even made Far Guy do a double take:)
Thanks everyone for your comments:)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an interesting event........I'd go for the cheese curds:)

Girl Tornado said...

Ok, now I know why you love those dang cheese curds.... I love cheese, and I love fried food, so it sounds like a match made in heaven! Yum!

The pow wow sounds really interesting. Loved all your photos!