Make your own free website on Tripod.com

The Powwow Report . . .

23rd AMERICAN INDIAN CULTURAL ASSOCIATION POWWOW – UNION GROVE, NC - JUNE 15 & 16, 2001

After 23 years of doing this we would think someone would get it right.

This event was produced by the American Indian Cultural Association of North Carolina, an organization of Indian cultural enthusiasts, sometimes known as Indian and powwow hobbyists.

Lou Bell from Indiana was MC. Head dancers were Danny Bowman of Winston-Salem, NC and Barbara Locklear of Charlotte, NC. Two drums were present, a large group of southern singers on two drums, and a smaller group calling themselves Drowning Creek provided northern style singing. Several members of the large southern drum group were members of Young Spirit out of Charleston, SC. Drowning Creek consisted of Tuscarora young men from Maxton, NC.

We were at this powwow from 10:00 a.m. Saturday until 10:00 p.m.

Registration was $4.50 per dancer per day, but that included a campsite at the campgrounds. The event was non-contest. Day money was not given, but all dancers were included in the give-aways.

We need to state here that we were told in advance this is a hobbyist powwow. But, we were also told that it is a powwow that is “run very well” and put on by people who know what they are doing. Also, we were told 95% of the participants would be white or non-Indian. We hereby confirm that 90.4% of the dancers were non-Indian. In fact, of the 125 dancers, 12 were Native American.

We missed the gourd dance session at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. Intertribal dancing began at 3:00 p.m. No grand entry; dancers just began entering the circle from everywhere once the drum group began singing. No one followed the head dancers. Actually, the head dancers failed to lead most of the dances. We have subsequently been informed that this is Southern protocol powwowing.

The official powwow booklet stated that dances would be held in a clockwise direction in the arena. Some male Lakota dancers present said that since regular powwow protocol was not being followed anyway, they were going to dance counter-clockwise, which is their custom. They did so without incident, however, some in attendance thought these dancers were protesting something, which, of course, they were not.

Some Indian participants spoke with some of the powwow officials and it was agreed that a grand entry would be held at 7:30 p.m. after the supper break. There was some apparent confusion regarding the line-up position of dancers. The grand entry began at 8:00 p.m. after a 30-minute wait on the head male dancer to arrive. The 7:30 grand entry time was announced before the supper break.

HIGHLIGHTS:

A strong breeze blew most of the afternoon keeping the temperature at a bearable level.

Mr. Ed de Torres, AICA powwow chairman, graciously took time to ensure that some youngsters got to go swimming in the campground pool at $2.50 per person instead of the $5.00 per person the campground staff was trying to collect from the young people. Mr. de Torres said the $2.50 charge printed in the program book was an error on the powwow’s behalf and apologized for the error.

The Saturday evening meal provided to everyone was very good and served in a timely manner.

More Pendleton blankets given away during the several give-aways than the Sioux Trading Post has in their store in Rapid City.

THE DOWN SIDE:

Being told by several people over the past couple of years that his was a really good, well-run powwow, and finding it to be otherwise.

CONCLUSION:

Would we go back again? No.


  • Back To The Powwow Archive
  • Back To NC Native News