Saturday, February 28, 2009

Winter Pow-Wow

By H. Nelson Goodson
February 28, 2009

Milwaukee - The Indian Summer Festival sponsored the 17th Annual Winter Pow Wow over the weekend at the Wisconsin State Fair Park, Wisconsin Products Pavilion. Indian Summer organizers say, a traditional pow wow is a Native American event, which brings people together to dance, sing, socialize, and keeps their tribal culture alive. A pow wow session begins with the Grand Entry, during which all the dancers line up by dance style and age, then enter the arena while a host drum sings a special song. The host drum is a drum group responsible for providing music for the dancers. During an intertribal dance, a drum will sing a song and anyone including American Indians and non-Native Americans can join the dance.
A pow wow usually features an extensive marketplace where vendors from around the country offer original Native American made arts and crafts, silver and gold jewelry, traditional foods and herbs, books and numerous other items to purchase. In most pow wow’s food vendors offer the popular and traditional fry bread, Indian Tacos, including hot dogs and soft drinks.
To experience pow wow’s and “Mother Earth” as Native Americans do, make plans to attend the largest North American Indian cultural festival in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “Mother Earth” is a common metaphorical expression for the Earth and its biosphere as the giver and sustainer of life. “Indian sovereignty and the affirmation of Native culture: the Earth is, indeed, Mother to these nations,” wrote Jace Weaver the author of Defending Mother Earth: Native American Perspectives on Environmental Justice.
Indian Summer Festival will celebrate its 23rd anniversary on September 11-13, 2009 at Henry Maier Festival Park (Summerfest grounds) on Milwaukee’s beautiful Lake Michigan lakefront.
The festival’s board includes members of many tribes and nations, including Chippewa, Oneida, Menominee, Ojibwa, Ottawa, Apache, Potawatomi and Mohican, according to Indian Summer organizers.

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