Friday, July 25, 2008
Otoe Missouria Encampment 2008
Here are some pictures of the Grand Entry of the Otoe Missouria Encampment 2008.
The gourd dance pictures taken in the afternoon didn't turn out very well, but these snapshots of the evening event show the awesome regalia of the fancy dancers (one of the men's divisions for the dance contest).
There are gourd dancers who usually have an afternoon event through the whole weekend, then straight dancers, traditional and fancy dancers (men). The women have buckskin, cloth, fancy shawl and jingle dance contests. These are the highlights of the weekend night events.
A powwow traditionally starts on Thursday and ends on a Sunday night. Many participants camp on the powwow grounds or at least have a day camp for preparing meals, gathering of family and friends. It is a work-intensive event for the part-taking families and usually requires a lot of planning and preparation ahead of time.
Besides the Ponca powwow which will come up in September the Otoe-Missouria Encampment is the main event of Sid's family. A tradition very much alive in Oklahoma which used to be "Indian Territory" before Oklahoma became a US state and it is home for numerous tribes all through out the state.
There are a lot of rules for the participants to follow. Give-aways play a huge role in the protocol of honoring elders, committees and relation-ships. Also there is a lot of joking about IT, Indian Time which simply means that not everything will happen on time as planned.
Non-Native American visitors are usually welcome to watch. Just bring your lawn-chairs, bottled water and a lot of time. Alcohol and fire-arms are not allowed on pow wow grounds.