Saturday, August 11, 2007

National Indian Pow Wow - Washington, DC

The National Pow Wow has begun. What an awsome sight. Hundreds of natives in their traditional, and some not so traditional dress, dancing in celebration of one Nation. They have the honor guard of Ira Hayes, Pima Indian, who participated in putting up the flag in Iwo Jima, the Native American Veterans Honor Guard, the traditional Native American Honor Guard, gosh, so many honor guards and so many flags, I can't name them all. The ceremony started off with dancing of the "golden" dancers. Better known as senior sector. These seasoned dancers were very elegant and sure footed, maybe a little slower than the next two groups, but still beautiful. The next group, the adult dancers, followed by the teen group then the tiny tots. They have 10 groups of drummers competing also. There are certain songs each group must know and master, all in different languages. The sound is so beautiful. After dinner we were honored by 5 of the original Navajo Code Talkers. They didn't speak, but most of us were able to go up and meet them and shake their hands. I found out that these men were sworn to secrecy for 23 years about their mission as code talkers and couldn't even tell their families until 1968. We were told about the only time that the American Flag was captured, not by another country, but by a Nation on it's own soil. By the Indians at Little Big Horn, pretty cool, huh. They gave tribute to Lori Piestewa, the first woman to be killed in war. They did a long tribute to her. She was from Tuba City, just a little way from my village, Moenkopi. There are lots of vendors with jewelry, baskets, pottery, clothing and food. I met a man from White River who knows some of my uncles. He will be dancing Saturday with the Apache War Dancers. This will be a treat to see since I haven't seen this type of dance since my grandfather was alive. So much to learn, and I have only stratched the surface. More tomorrow!

Kerri Lynn

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