Sunday, April 17, 2011

Kyi Yo Powwow

This weekend we got to go to a powwow held annually in town - tribes from all over the Northwest US and nearby areas of Canada attend, and we've always wanted to go, too.

We got there way too early, not really understanding the schedule of events.  The girls did pretty well waiting, and we saw lots of people getting ready.  Clara was very interested to see all the girls getting their hair done, and asked me to do hers, too.
We did the best we could, lacking any ribbon or a comb.
When the main entrance began it was pretty incredible.  The drums beat so loudly, the singing was transformative, and the dancing is much, much better in person (or captured on video) than these pictures could ever portray.
Different dancers are allowed to enter at different times - we don't know the classifications of all the dancers, but these in the lower right were some of our favorites, and were relatively early in (so pretty important).

We LOVED the drum roll call - we thought there was one large drum circle, but it turns out there are lots of little drum circles like this, made up of clans.  When they do the roll call, they call out "Nighthawk clan!" or "Highway 89 clan!" and that drum circle does its own beat.  It was riveting.
Eventually things get pretty crowded, and while any one of these formal outfits would have been amazing on its own, putting them all together and having everyone move together was inspiring, even without us understanding much of what was specifically communicated by the different dances and songs.

We all started out watching in our own seats (Clara drumming much of the time on her flipped-up seat).

But soon all three girls moved right to the ground to get as close as they could to the action.  It was fun to watch them watching.

We felt so lucky to get to be a part of this tradition this year - next time we hope to learn even more.

No comments: