Friday, May 8, 2009

A SLICE OF MY LIFE


I got an email this morning from my dear friend (we call each other sister) Juanita Small Salmon, in Montana. (That's one of her photos on my blog header. For those of you who know the area, like Christine at Quiet Paths, the photo is taken right beside the Ninepipes Lodge, near Ronan). Anyway, Juanita mentioned that she and her husband, Stephen, who is a traditional dancer, are going to a small local pow wow this weekend at Charlo. Every year around this time, I get a hankering to be back on the 'Pow Wow Trail' as it's often called. I spent many years traveling all over the west with good friends, my relatives-by-adoption from the Blackfoot First Nation, and my ex, who is a Cree traditional dancer. There's nothing quite like sitting outdoors in your lawn chair, in the heat and dust of Fort Belknap (bring an umbrella for the sun!) or blanketed up against the chilly Saskatchewan summer nights (you can see your breath!), listening to the drummers and singers, and watching the dancers circling around. Or getting up to dance in an Inter-tribal with everybody - dancers and spectators alike. It's a way of life I felt very at home in, camping on the ground in a tent, and later in a camperized van (with a fold down bed - a big improvement over those crummy old foamies on the lumpy ground!) I loved seeing who got a new outfit, who came from the farthest away with a dance style I hadn't seen before. There were always old friends to see; new ones to meet. I know there are some pow wows around where I live now, but I'm not sure if they are open to the general public, and even if they are, I don't have a diehard bunch of pow wow addicts here to go with - the kind who like to go for Grand Entry on Friday and stay till the last drumbeat in the wee small hours of Sunday morning...so, Juanita, have a turn around the arbor for me, my girl, and I'll be there in spirit!



Photos enlarge:
1-Arbor at Pipestone, Manitoba (that's my ex in the foreground, dancing)
2-Arbor ar Pipestone, Manitoba
3-Grand entry at Keremeos (I think) B.C.
4-my ex in his eagle bustle

9 comments:

Lin said...

how fun I've been to many pow wows in the west.

Wren said...

I went to my first pow wow a month or so ago. Incredible costumes and dancing.

Beth P. said...

Dear Deborah--
Thank you for this beautiful slice of your life! And the few pow-wows I've been honored to go to have been a thrill like nothing else.

Thank you!!

Ruth said...

Very interesting post. I believe there is a pow wow at Oshwegan every summer and I have thought it would be great to go there.

Sylvia K said...

Love your post! pow wows were something that i've always wanted to go to, but was never able to for whatever reasons so i really loved reading about them and your photos are marvelous! Thanks so much for sharing, as Beth said, a beautiful slice of your life!

Shellmo said...

I would love to see a pow wow and admire the costumes, watch the dancing...it must be wonderful!

bobbie said...

Thank you so much for sharing this little slice of your life with us, Deborah. The photos are so wonderful. That eagle bustle is amazing! I would love to learn more about the pow wows.

Indrani said...

Reading about Pow wow for the first time. Looks like an nteresting event and fun shots!

Quiet Paths said...

It's been a long while since I've been to one of these celebrations. It was really neat to learn more about you. Great photos and an impressive dress of your ex.