Events & Programs
October 23, 2012
Prepare to be moved by the sight of colorfully dressed dancers and the full-bodied sounds of drums and singers at the annual CSU Pow Wow Saturday from 1-10 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Theatre.
The pow wow is free and open to everyone, and a great opportunity for those who have never attended a pow wow to see what they're all about.
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 Native American music.
Music will be provided by Denver Singers (Denver), Pawnee Spotted Horse (Fort Collins),Young Bear (Mandaree, North Dakota) and Southern Style (Montezuma Creek, Utah).
"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."
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 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.
The feed will take place between the afternoon and evening sessions. It features Native American traditional food and is open to everyone.
The pow wow is sponsored by the American Indian Science & Engineering Society.
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