The Native American Nations converged here for dancing, singing, crafts, yummy food, and outdoor fun at the Labor Day Weekend Pow Wow. A forested hill towering above the Mississippi River was alive with regalia from tribes across the United States, sporting ribbons, feathers and bells galore at Black Hawk State Historic Site.
It was my first Midwestern PowWow, so I appreciated the announcements stating correct etiquette: stand as directed during important songs and dances, ask before taking individual's photos, don't touch the regalia, and feel free to add some money on the blankets at designated dances. Easy. I relaxed and enjoyed the proceedings.
The two-day event kicked off with a flourish at noon with the Grand Entrance. I hadn't expected the patriotic import given to four Native American veterans who formally led the procession carrying US and Vietnam MIA flags along with two flags representing local tribes.
The semi-annual event, sponsored by the Native American Coalition of the Quad Cities, hosted 2500 visitors last June with even more expected for this event. What with picture perfect weather and free admission to welcome the public, the sunlight-dappled clearing in the forest likely drew a new record-breaking--and appreciative--crowd.
We watched a variety of dances and even participated in a few! A beauty of the celebration was seeing the children taking part, learning pride in their heritage from observing their parents and elders. Two extremely short video clips (below) catch a glimpse of the drumming and the dancing--everyone danced!
But, I'm sorry I don't have any photos of the Indian Tacos! The taco meat, shredded Mexican cheeses, onions, sour cream, and salsa that crowned a lovely circle of Indian fry bread--well, it didn't last long enough to photograph.