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October 24, 2012
Native American tribes will host the annual pow wow on Saturday, October 27 in the Lory Student Center Theatre. Prepare to be moved by the sight of colorfully dressed dancers and the full-bodied sounds of drums and singers. A free Pow Wow feed takes place at 5 p.m.
The annual pow wow is open to everyone, free, and a great opportunity for those who have never attended a pow wow to see what they're all about. The pow wow is sponsored by the American Indian Science & Engineering Society.
The term pow wow comes from a Narragansett word, "Pawwaw," which means "spiritual leader." The pow-wow is an event that honors Native American culture and heritage through its traditional dance regalia, dancing, singing, and food.
"The dancers and drummers originate from all Native American/First Nations people in the U.S. and Canada," Delbert Willie with Colorado State University's Native American Cultural Center says. "On average we have from 100 to 200 dancers."
Willie says that about 15 to 25 vendors also attend the Pow Wow. Most are artisans who sell everything from jewelry to CDs of Native American drums and singing..
The drum groups we look for are well-known, respected groups in the pow wow circuit," Willie says. "They typically are championship singers.
"The choice of drum group has a lot of influence over whether a dancer will attend the pow wow. We try to pick drums that will add some energy and excitement to the event."
Music will be provided by Denver Singers, Denver, Colo., Pawnee Spotted Horse, Fort Collins, Colo., Young Bear, Mandaree, North Dakota, and Southern Style, Montezuma Creek, Utah.
"Dancers usually begin learning by watching movement and steps when they are young. They can learn from their families and through interaction with other people at various Native American gatherings.
"The pow wow style of dances are derived from various areas of the country. One particular style isn't from one tribe, but is shared among a tribal group. However, tribes do add unique aspects that is based upon their own heritage and traditions."
The event will be held in the brand new, Lory Student Center Theatre renovation.
The Gourd Dance is a celebration dance and ceremony believed to have originated with the Kiowa tribe. Although gourd dances are often held to coincide with a pow-wow, the dance has its own unique dance and history, and is not part of the contest dances.
Grand Entry is the parade of dancers which opens each session of dancing. First, the eagle staff is carried into the circle, followed by the American, Canadian, state and tribal flags. Then, chiefs and headmen enter, followed by head dancers and royalty.
Other invited dignitaries are next to enter followed by the men, women, and junior boys and girls. The dancers dance clockwise, around the arbor. The ceremony concludes with the flag song and blessing, and ceremonial placement of the Eagle staff.
The feed will take place between the afternoon and evening sessions. It features Native American traditional food and is open to everyone.
Don't miss the Native American Dance Expo and Frybread Sale on the Lory Student Center Plaza the day before the Pow Wow! Learn more.
Contact: Delbert Willie