A day for a Powwow.
This weekend in Richmond was a Native American Powwow. It was less to educate about a certain tribe than it was a celebration of a past way of life.
We saw examples of beautiful artwork...
And then it was time for the dancing. The Grand Entry was considered sacred, so no pictures were allowed. The dancers went around the circle several times, then stood while the drummers sang the flag song. Since Native Americans hold their warriors in such respect, they honor them with the veterans dance. They invited all veterans in attendance to join them. Hesistantly at first, the veterans joined in the dancing, starting with slow steps until they let the beat of the drums move their feet. One of the most moving sights was when an elderly gentleman with a long white beard and wide suspenders, looking for all the world like a Civil War veteran, stumbled into the circle with the help of a younger woman and then shuffled around with the other dancers. He only made it one go around, but what heart!
After the veterans dance, the tribal dancers entered the circle again and pictures were allowed. The dancers wore costumes representative of their tribes, and I assume positions in the tribes. Some were ornate and beautiful, others simple. They demonstrated many different dances, with men and women, intertribal, the "sneak up" dance, and a snowball like dance where they picked members of the audience to participate. Of course, that is when I took the opportunity to pack up my tired kids and go look for food!
Enjoy the photos!