We spent our last night in Montana at the pow-wow. We drove down some rutted out dirt roads and through hundreds of people walking through the camp, and parked our rental minivan next to a teepee. I had to open my door carefully so as not to whack the horses that were standing there as I got out.
We had been told by some nurses at the IHS hospital to show up early or we wouldn’t find a seat. It was fun to sit and watch the crowd: a mixture of white locals in cowboy boots, a few out-of-towners wearing safari style pants and carrying big cameras, and mostly people from the reservation and family members of the dancers.
Once again, the irony cracked me up occasionally! Sitting on a bowing wooden bench hearing Native Americans beating on their drums, wailing and singing, showing off such impressive beadwork that you can’t learn how to do in any class, swirling feathers and dancing- then someone sticks a Blackberry up and snaps a picture- just makes me smile.
My favorite dancers to watch were the kids. It probably had something to do with my own Pumpkins being on the other side of the country and as excited as I was to leave them with someone trustworthy and have a break, durn it, I missed ’em!
I think she’s funny.
So I got this picture for her.
And this kid was just cute. I wish I could have gotten some photos of the singers, but it was too dark and too crowded around them for me to get in close enough. A bunch of different groups came, and when a group’s turn was up they would sit in a circle around a huge drum, one hand beating on the drum with a long wooden stick (technical terms? I have no clue), the other hand over one ear, and they would wail as loudly as they could to the beat of the drum in a language I didn’t understand. It was neat.
I have a bunch more pics, but that’ll do for now!