Powwow: It’s an Arts Extravaganza!

by Naomi Pearson. 0 Comments

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! Step right up and meet real live Indians in the living in these modern days and sharing with you some traditional ways!

In other words, put aside everything you think you know about Native Americans and come to actually meet some of us at the Frederick American Indian Powwow next Saturday and Sunday, May 21 and 22 at the Frederick Fairgrounds. (Friday, the 20th is a cultural exchange day -- a teacher/student program.)

(Edited to add correction: I've just been informed that there is no longer a Friday program. Sorry.)

You’ll get to see and meet American Indian dancers in their regalia (that’s what their outfits are called, it’s NOT a costume), singers, drummers, artists, and crafts persons -- representing more than 50 nations (tribes) from the U.S., Canada and probably Central And South America -- and that’s not counting those of us who live right here in the community who will be there. If you think about it, that means this will be an arts extravaganza! (And you do like the arts, don’t you?)

After the gates open on Saturday (and on Sunday) at 11 am, come and take a quick look around then find a comfortable spot with a good view because at 12 noon, the Grand Entry, which is a parade of people from the Native American nations besplendored in their regalia, will officially begin the event. Following Grand Entry, you will find plenty to do -- visit the vendors and admire (and purchase) Native American crafts and learn how to tell the authentic Native-made from the “made in some other place” trinkets; talk with the dancers and learn about the significance of the dances and each piece of their color-saturated regalia (ask FIRST if you want to take a picture!); get your face painted with your children or accompany them to one of the kid-geared activities -- and lots to see.

And of course there will be food! To be honest, some of it is what I consider “Indian fast-food”--mmmm, frybread! -- but some is what makes up just an everyday meal in our homes. (There will be some ordinary fast food, too--hot dogs and hamburgers.)

This is the kind of event we hold for ourselves, but this powwow (as are many others) is meant to be open to the public so you can learn about us and our cultures, both past and present.

So come on and spend a day (or even a few hours) with us!

Admission is $10 for ages 13 and up, and $6 for ages 3-12 But if you bring a non-perishable food item (which will go to the Frederick Food Bank), you can get $1 off your ticket. So make sure everyone in your family has something to donate! Contact Ms. Sarah McAleavy, Coordinator of Food and Nutrition at Frederick Food Bank at 301-600-6263, for more information about the food drive.

(P.S. To my local native ‘cousins’, if you haven’t already heard, this is also a contest powwow. Let’s show Frederick how it’s done!)

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