Friday, April 4, 2014

Celebrating Culture

A young man celebrates his pride in his heritage.
Jean brought my attention to the fact that Google has used a number of my photographs in Google Images. She had searched “kaw powwow images”, and when I went back to check, there were 19 of my photographs. Without pointing out which are mine, if you search “kaw powwow images”, you’ll see mine and great photographs taken by many others. Except for crowd or dancing photographs, none were taken without the person’s consent, which is always a good practice. It is also a good practice to check at the information booth or with officials near the grandstands for any concerns over photography. Some of my photographs may also be seen at:

Since Oklahoma is so linked to Native American culture, we felt it important to take the granddaughters to experience a powwow. There were six tribes represented at the Kaw Nation powwow: Pawnee, Otoe-Missouria (originally of the Winnebago), Osage, Tonkawa, Kaw, and Ponca. They were all part of the Kaw or Kanza Nation, who gave their name to the Kansas River, also called the Kaw River, and the States of Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas, and many other locations.

If you’ve never been to a real powwow, I’d strongly recommend taking part in such an event. At the link below, there is a calendar for most of the events across the country. If your area is not represented on the link, let’s say it is for New Jersey, just Google “New Jersey Native American PowWow,” and you should find one there or a surrounding state.

Best of all, I’ve never been to one of these events where I haven’t been made to feel very welcome. They are rightfully very proud of their heritage, and will even take the time to explain the different dances and ceremonies.

Also, if you are planning to attend a powwow, you may wish to read this guide on etiquette for such an event. Remember that many of the activities have spiritual or religious meaning for participants.

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