Pow Wow Weekend
I had the incredible fortune to be in Taos Pueblo on the weekend of this huge Powwow. There were Native American participants from as far away as Idaho and Montana. The Powwow was held in a field outside of the Pueblo about 3 miles and about 5 miles north of the town of Taos. I was one of the few "white men" to be there but the participants were very gracious in welcoming me there.
The 2005 Powwow will occur on July 8.9.and 10 and will be celebrating their 20th Anniversary.
I was quite surprised that the opening ceremony was more like an American Legion event. There was the presentation of the colors ( American Flag) and many speeches about veterans who had served in the United States Armed Forces.
Three Young Warriors
Many merchant booths surrounded the dance area selling jewelry, food, pottery and other crafts. However, the hottest selling items were from the T shirt booths which sported two popular shirts. One showed a sillouette of an Indian brave on a horse and the shirt read "Home Land Security, Fighting Terrorism Since 1492. " The other read "Native Americans Discovered Christopher Columbus Lost at Sea in 1492"
Most of the dancing was done by male participants. The "stage" was a circular area about 200 feet in diameter and observers sat under the shade of branches of trees that covered a trellis.
More Young Dancers
These young dancers waited patiently in the sun for their turn to enter the huge circle surrounded by the spectators.
Preparing to Dance
Not all of the Native Americans here were from the Taos tribe. Several of the ones that were, however, speak a language called Tiwa.
Children Participated Also
I was very pleased to see that the children were learning the dances to carry on the culture of the various tribes.
I would guess that there must have been over 200 participants in native dress that were involved in this event.