June 16, 2003

Seattle Pow-Wow

By Stephen Adkins © 2003

March 18-20th Seattle, WA

"What-the-heck” Ed-Pavillion at the University of Washington. The 32nd annual First Nations POW-WOW, with Drums White Eagle, Broken Rope, Red Tail, New Tribe, the Southern Boys and White Swan, and Washington’s own (Grammy award winning) Black Lodge. Several hundred people from as far away as North Dakota, Arizona and Montana were in attendance at this very special Pow-Wow. Handmade jingle dresses, grass dresses and eagle feathers; deer, elk, moose and pelts from many other animals adorn these fabulous articles of traditional regalia. Very colourful, extremely finely wrought beadwork, and headdresses that are very special and honoured in the Native American tradition. Dances that have been performed for hundreds of years were performed with the consummate skill of the ages in the spirits of the dancers. I have been to several Pow-wow's and I enjoy them more and more with each one I attend. The drum is a central piece of the dance, creating a rhythm that is subtlety varied in volume and speed, but not cadence. These dances have many names, fancy, grass, chicken leg, eagle, coyote, bear and the one I liked (and my Nikon f5 did too) the grand entry, where all the dancers were in the circle at once, creating a splendid array of patterns of colour, sound, and tradition that for me is the reason I go to them whenever I can; the tradition of the drum, the dance, the regalia, the connection to the great spirit and many other more personal reasons. if you ever have an opportunity to go to a Pow-wow, by all means do so, it is a very special time and event to share in and celebrate!!

Stephen Adkins is a photographer from Seattle, WA.

No comments: