By Randell B.
What are powwows? On the surface they may seem like exotic dancing with remarkably intriguing costumes to the rhythm of drums and singing. They are much more than that, and they're not exotic to these lands we call the Western hemisphere. Some of these revered regalia clad dances are contemporary to Indigenous culture, and some have been parts of true Western culture for eons.
Powwow dances vary from region to region as well as from tribes, clans, and by gender. However, heteronormative ideas about gender have recently enlightened many communities and powwow dancing -- thus Two-Spirit people are more so recognized.
There are many powwow dances. Many are for competition, and others are ceremonial dances for a private familial/clan event. But, with each step of every powwow -- be they Fancy or Jingle -- each dance step is devoted to healing people and the Earth.
The Denver Art Museum has been hosting a remarkable powwow for many years, and now they must do as many of us have had to do and social distance. Please join the Denver Art Museum Friendship Powwow 2020 virtually with their Facebook or YouTube channel. All dancers were welcome to join, and you too are welcome to enjoy the Indigenous culture of the Powwow.
The virtual rendition of Friendship Powwow will be on Saturday September 12, 2020 and will start at 11 AM.
There There: A Novel by Tommy Orange
A Dancing People: Powwow Culture on the Southern Plains by Clyde Ellis
The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living by Joseph Marshall III
Witness : a Húnkpapȟa historian's strong-heart song of the Lakotas by Josephine Waggoner