A couple of days ago My Rare One and I went to a traditional pow wow held in conjunction with Edmonton's K-Days celebration. The pow wow dancers, drummers and singers came from Alberta's Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation and other Treaty 6 First Nations in the province. We watched for about 4 hours and had a great time!
Have you ever been to a pow wow? It's been about 25 years since I last attended one in Manitoba at Sagkeeng First Nation north of Winnipeg. I was long overdue to go again. And My Rare One had never been to a pow wow before and was very keen to experience all the sights and sounds.
The drumming groups with their powerful pow wow drums and traditional singing were uniformly excellent! I loved seeing the older and younger men sitting together at the drums, all clearly having a wonderful time. You should have seen the look of pure joy on some of those kids' faces as they drummed and sang as accepted equals with the other men in their circle!
Greg Southam / Postmedia]
The dancing and the dancers' regalia were pretty spectacular too. There was every style of regalia and every kind of dance, except there was no hoop dancing (at least not on the day we attended). The dancing was divided by age group, gender and kind of dance. In between each category, there was always an "inter-tribal" round dance where anyone was welcome to participate, whether or not they were in regalia or street clothes or were pow wow dancers or members of the audience.
My favourites have always been the traditional women grass dancers -- so dignified and regal as they move with small steps, caressing Mother Earth with their feet, slowly dancing like the centre of calm and strength in the swirl of energetic male dancers, jingle dancers and shawl dancers.
My Rare One's favourites are the jingle dancers, young girls and women festooned with small metal cones on their regalia which make a joyful and rhythmic tinkling sound as they energetically dance.
To conclude this post, here's a tiny jingle dancer for your delight!
Greg Southam / Edmonton Journal]