The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


August 17, 2013

Bob Garrett's No Child Left Indoors column: Power of the pow wow


Drummers will include the Old Bridge Singers and the Mother Earth's Daughters. Some other attractions at the pow wow will be native housing such as long houses and teepees, a primitive encampment, tomahawk throwing contests and many children's activities and crafts. Camping is permitted and feasts will be provided for anyone who participates in the pow wow.

For more information, contact Michelle Fry at 717-589-7744 or by email at Aon Kachi Karrya and Blue Sky Woman will serve as the pow wow head man and head woman. By the way, Kipona is a Delaware word meaning "to be upon sparkling water." I'm intrigued with the comparison of the Seneca word Karoondinha which means "land of shining waters."

If the notion of participating in a pow wow is a bit foreign to you, I've put together a couple of tips to help you, your family and your friends have a wonderful time at your next pow wow. First, relax. I can assure you that you will be among some of the nicest people that you will ever meet. However, pow wows are not Disney World. Most of your fellow "pow wowwers" are likely to be a bit reserved, at first. They will check you out just as much as you check them out. Remember, native peoples have a lot of history with us, it in some cases it hasn't been all good. But, you can put that aside for a while and just have fun.

Pow wows generally begin with the Grand Entry. Originally, this entry served as a parade through the host town and alerted residents that a pow wow was happening. During the Grand Entry, everyone is asked to stand as the flags are brought into the arena. The flags carried may include the U.S. Flag, Tribal Flags, the Prisoner of War Flag, and Eagle Staffs of various native nations that may be present. These are usually carried by decorated veterans. Once everyone is in the pow wow arena, a song is sung to honor the flags and the veterans. After a prayer, the dancing begins, usually with a few round dances. After the round dances, intertribal dancing songs are sung and everyone is invited to dance to the beat of the drum.

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