The 38th Annual Denver March Pow Wow danced its way into Colorado this weekend. You might ask yourself what is a Pow Wow?
The 38th Annual Denver March Pow Wow danced its way into Colorado this weekend. You might ask yourself what is a Pow Wow? A Pow Wow is a gathering and/or social occasion for Indian people to come together to dance, sing, and honor their heritage which has been passed down from generation to generation. If that wasn't enough, this is also a competition for men (traditional dancing, fancy dancing, and grass dancing), women (traditional dancing, fancy shawl dancing, and jingle dress dancing) and children.
The event started of with the marching of the drum and presentation of all the flags. Then out came over 1000 competitors showing off their tribal colors and dance styles. You could see people of all ages participating. There was even the Denver March Pow Wow Princess, Miss Mikala Sun Rhodes and visiting royalty. The stands stood up in respect for all the hard work and time the competitors put into there costumes and dance. Just imagine, these are some of the same dances you would have seen over 100 years ago.
It was time for the Fry Bread Concession to open and it looked like a mad dash to get one of the famous Indian Taco, Fried Bread, or Corn Soup. The biggest decision was which one. So why not try all. Giant tables were set up so everyone could eat together. I sat next to the Lopez family and asked little Jaedyn, age 2, how he was liking his Fry Bread? With a smile on his face, he replied with the shake of his head of yes it is good. Did I forget to mention he had powered sugar on his face. To my left sat a lady named Doris who was trying one of everything. She said,"The Corn Soup was her favorite and she was going to take home an Indian Beef Taco to eat for dinner."
After lunch, it was time to check out the native drums. I asked Lewis Cozard how long he has been drumming? He said, " I have been playing the drums since I was 13 years old." Adding to that, he explained how each song they played had a different meaning for each different tribe and told me that each drum is made from animal hide such as buffalo and elk. Lewis wanted to tell all first time visitors at this 38th Annual Pow Wow that, "Every time you hit the drum you are taking the spirit out of it and the spirit is with you at every song." While drums start beating, the young men started to prepare, I had the chance to talk to Cody Largo age 7. He said," My family came here form New Mexico for this competition." Cody has been dancing since he was 2 years old and is today competing in the Junior Boys Grass. One thing Cody's mom added was he makes so many new friends here and still keeps in touch with one from the past. These young men take great pride in there dance and heritage and you can see it on the competing floor.
To conclude, if you get a chance to check out a Pow Wow do it. You feel honored to be a part of something so grand in heritage and culture. Everyone is happy to tell their experiences and share there love of the dance. For more info about the Denver March Pow Wow go to www.denvermarchpowwow.org . Thank you Grace Gillette for showing me around and taking the time out for a newcomer.