The First Nations Educational and Cultural Center (FNECC) will host the 10th annual Powwow on April 9 in Dunn Meadow, the first in person since the pandemic began. Juaquin Hamilton, a Sac and Fox Nation historical researcher who was the master of ceremonies for IU’s first virtual powwow in 2021, will emcee this year’s powwow.
The Indiana University Annual Traditional Powwow attracts hundreds of visitors each year. It boasts a line-up of nationally known dancers and singers and traditional foods, crafts, and dance clothing. Performers of all ages participate, carrying on the traditions of their people as they represent them through their feathers and beadwork, their dance clothes, the songs they sing, and the styles in which they dance. The powwow is an important time when generations come together to share in dance and song and celebrate the diversity of contemporary Native American tribal identity.
In addition to the social dancing, vendors will offer handcrafted items such as silver and turquoise jewelry, blankets, artwork, beaded purses, and other accessories.
According to the FNECC website, the modern powwow and many styles of contemporary powwow dancing have their roots in the historic warrior societies of the Southern and Northern Plains. Over time, these dances, ceremonies, and gatherings have evolved from formal and tribal-based into modern-day intertribal celebrations of culture, dance, song, crafts, food, and pageantry held across the United States and Canada, in small towns and big cities. These quintessential social gatherings can occur anywhere – from community dance grounds to large arenas and convention centers.
The powwow has become a way that Native American people representing all tribal backgrounds can join together to share experiences, reconnect with old friends, and make new ones. In addition, it is an opportunity to reflect on time-honored traditions while helping to educate future generations of dancers and singers.
“As a kid, I went to a lot of powwows, and I haven’t been to many since,” Jo Long, a member of the powwow’s performers committee, stated in a promotional video from the event. “So it’ll be exciting seeing people dance again.”
For more information on the powwow, please visit the FNECC website for a full schedule. And please don’t forget to view the pre-powwow video below.