No - this is not my house . . .

This photo was part of a creativity exercise I did a while ago which was a study of light, shadow and textures. This is one of a group of rental cottages in Truro, MA which is here on Cape Cod. Check out the slide show for more pics.

To view a larger image of the photos in my posts - just click on the image. Then use your browsers back button to return to the blog post.

04 July 2010

Mashpee Wampanoag 2010 Pow Wow

The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe (of the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving dinner fame) has an annual Pow Wow open to the public every 4th of July weekend. It is three days of events with Indian Nations from across the US, Canada, Central and South America joining in the festivities. The best part is the dance contests with tribal dancers of all ages competing over the 3 days in shawl dances, bell dances, hoop dance, grass dance, fancy, etc. There are many tribal Pow Wows across North America and if you have never gone to one I recommend checking them out. If you ever go to Plimouth Plantation (that's the correct spelling of Plymouth), the Wampanaog members have an active homesite there - which is not a reenactment, but place to learn about their past and current traditions, concerns and issues (click on photos to enlarge and select browser back button to return to blog)

I try to get to the Pow Wow every few years.  This year's Pow Wow runs from July 3 through July 5.  I have not been for 3 or 4 years now because of Dad's health in his last few years.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much more organized this has become in just these few years away.  Parking was tough and I hope they are able to add more parking in the coming years.  They have added more local native American crafters and food vendors - which made me happy.  While I loved the crafts from South America and the food from the mid-West, I feel that with the current economy here in MA, helping the local artists and tribal members is especially important (okay enough of that or this will turn into a post that should go onto my other blog!)

I got some good pictures - although I had to do some cropping to get the crowd out of some of the pictures.

Part of the Veteran's Dance.  The men pride themselves on creating and sewing  their own dance outfits.
I loved this man in the center of the photo.

Head Dancers for the men and the women. They lead off all inter-tribal and special dances. Hard work as they basically remain on stand-by during all of the ceremonies and dance contests.

The young men and boys take their dancing very seriously.  I am continually impressed with their dedication to their traditions and their discipline.

Junior boys Fancy Dancer

I saw this young man standing in the shade in the crowd talking with some friends and I asked if I could take a close up picture of his bustle.  He was surprised but very accommodating.  I am sure he had some words to say to his friends about this white woman . . .
Teen Men Fancy Dancer

While wandering through the vendors, we came upon this young woman doing weaving in the shade of one of the trees (tempatures were high so space in the shade was at a premium).

As she was in front of the Ecuadorian tent I suspect she is from there.

Here is a short clip of the Veterans Dance.  The men and women veterans are highly respected and all dance - even those not competing and not in full regalia.  The music is live - there were at least eight different drum circle drummers and inter-tribal singers.

The Pow Wow is an amazing experience and I try to get people who live here or are visiting over the July 4th holidays to experience this tradition and to teach their children what comprises real Native American cultures to increase respect and understanding.  There were some vendors there selling tees with pictures of the great warriors who fought off the white men with the caption "Homeland Security - fighting terrorism since 1492" and I kept wondering what they thought about the Arizona law on illegal aliens (Probably wishing they had a way to do that a few centuries ago).

Inter-tribal dance

- Gale

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