Wednesday, February 4, 2009

oregon first nation's pow wow 09

to look at me you'd have never known I grew up in an adopted family and was raised by a woman who told me from time to time "you are the kind of person who makes people hate Indians"

I was...but hey, on to the story:-)

Walking in to pow wows is always a rush for me. Until July 2004 I had never lived at home on my reservation and had never owned much less MADE my own regalia and so forth. My idea of living there was "what is there to do?" Fortunately I have brothers who took me under their wing and decided rather than make fun of me for being hopelessly urban they would teach me our ways.

This pow wow felt so rich - the days had been sunny and bright - ah!!! how euphemistic flows the mind at times - on the drive through the gorge we'd been graced with our favorite water birds...i don't know their names but these ducks are shy and black and cute:-) we drove past grandpa walrus and the grandma telling stories...we drove by the mama singing songs to her children and you thought the drive through the gorge was ho-hum? brother and I entered the arena in our street clothes as did many others attending...the air was electric with pride as women and men donned traditional, fancy, jingle...pride over great great grandma's traditional dress still fresh with her wisdom passed through the years, pride over hand beaded barrettes and hair ties with memories of fingers bloodied and tears shed over mistakes taken out and redone to colorful splendor...sequins flashed as capes were pulled over the head, the smell of hairspray and someone smudging cast an air of excitement.

Nine recognized tribes? We are family as we take to the floor...disagreements over boundaries and current appropriations are set aside for a time and we enter the arena together with smiles and greetings. Elder women chuckled over youthful energy gone a little awry at times...young girls dance in with jingles flying and satin dresses flowing...frybread is passed from one row to another as the grandchildren bring them to grandma...hmmmm that one has several bites taken out of it!

After grand entry, I sat down with my brother to watch...from one moment to the next was full of amazement and we finally got up to go check out the vendors. Even MORE fun!

Not one day goes by that I am not thankful to have been brought home! Now I am the grandma...

1 comment:

Shus li said...

I love these images you stir up with you words, and I'm happy you made your way home.

Is that your awesom regalia, with Tsgaglalal (I love her) on it?

After that powwow, I said I'd never eat another piece of frybread because I had the best piece ever!