Friendship Powwow

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The Friendship Powwow at the Denver Art Museum featured a dance contest, Native American food, booths selling stuff from the tribes, and an art booth where kids could do stencil art to make bandanas and bags.

I met a lady named Night Eagle at one of the booths who was selling mini-teepees. She started making them after her grandson, Hawk Blueback (9 years old), asked for something that he could take to school so that he could talk about his Native American history.  He is part Ponca, Shoshone, Bannock, Pueblo and Navajo.

She prayed for an idea and one night the idea of making a teepee design around a funnel came to her. Now she makes lots of the mini-teepees and she also makes dream catchers. Dream catchers catch the bad dreams in a web of silk so that when the sun rises the first rays of sun melt the bad dreams and destroy them. Good dreams are caught and kept.

I also met Rosabelle Atayde who is an 8 year old dancer. She is part Navajo, Southern Cheyenne and Mexican. She has been dancing since she could walk. She does the Jingle Dress Dance which is a healing dance. Her dress had little golden bells on the skirt that ring when she dances.

Her mom made her traditional dress and her mom and grandma made all of her necklaces and beads. She danced at the Powwow with her little brother Apollo, who is 2.

At the art tent, I took stencils that an artist had designed and used them to make a handkerchief with a native design on it. There were lots of kids busy with the art including Saari Akhiasa Ashemu and her mom Tiffani Balashange Ashemu who are from Denver and Ghana, West Africa.

I definitely want to go back next year. It was a lot of fun and I learned new things.