Beautiful dancers in full regalia, good food, a time to honor tradition and Native American culture and values at the 22nd Annual Wyandotte Nation Pow-Wow is taking place this weekend Sept. 9, Sept.10 and Sept. 11 at the Wyandotte Nation's Pow-Wow grounds located 5.2 miles east of Wyandotte on Highway 60.
The Wyandotte Nation welcomes and encourages everyone to come and enjoy the pow-wow and to bring lawn chairs and cameras.
The schedule for Grand Entries is Friday, Sept. 9 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10 at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., and then on Sunday, Sept.11 at 1:30 p.m.
The 10th Annual Veterans' Honor Program will be held on Saturday as well and all veterans are welcome to participate.
Head Staff for this year's pow-wow include Head Singer Howard Cozad; Head Man Dancer, Terrance King Todome; Head Lady Dancer, Tammy Mason Lux; and Head Gourd Dancer, Murray Rhoades.
The Honor Guard is the Wyandotte Nation Honor Guard.
The Arena Director is Dude Blalock, and the Head Judge is Jay Blalock.
Master of Ceremonies is Steve Kinder, the Drum Contest is Northern and Southern and this year's Wyandotte Nation Princess is Cortney Glass.
The Pow-wow contest schedule list includes on Friday evening, Sept. 9- Junior Girl's Cloth, Golden Age Men's, Junior Boy's Straight, Women's Jingle, and Men's Grass.
Events on Saturday afternoon, Sept.10 Junior Boy's Fancy, Women's Cloth, Men's Straight, Junior Girl's Buckskin, and on Saturday evening Tiny Tots, Junior Girl's Fancy, Men's Fancy, Women's Buckskin and Junior Boy's Traditional.
The last day's events are Sunday afternoon Golden Age Women, Junior Girl's Jungle, Men's Traditional, Women's Fancy and Junior Boy's Grass.
There will be Gourd Dancing one hour prior to all sessions. All Specials will be held Saturday afternoon.
Other activities held during the pow-wow are on Friday night there will be a ‘49 Contest' with Jennifer Lunsford as coordinator, then on Saturday night there will be a Stomp Dance and on Sunday morning a special Grandparent Day Honor Dance with prizes for the oldest grandmother and grandfather present.
For additional information please contact Sherri Clemons at (918) 678-2297 extension 244.
There will be judged contests throughout the weekend of the Wyandotte Pow-Wow for various categories of dance. This year $15,500 will be paid in prize money with contests in all dance categories.
The Gourd Dance emanates from the Oklahoma tribes, dancers, most who are veterans, shake rattles in their right hands made of gourds or silver canisters and hold feathers or eagle fans in their left hands as they dance in a stationary position, lifting their heels off the ground in beat to the drum. Women dance at the outer edge of the dance circle.
The Women's Buckskin Dance was formerly the exclusive dance of princesses and women in leadership, but is now open to all. This dance consists of slow, graceful moments to the drum and at any given time during the song, the dancer salutes the drum with her fan in a beautiful expression, "the catching of the spirit of the drum."
The Women's Fancy Shawl Dance is individually choreographed and involves agility, and grace and is a more current style of dance.
While dancing the Women's Cloth Dance the dancers move with a shawl folded over the dancer's arm. This is a dance of elegance rather than motion and is a slow graceful walk and gentle sway in exact time to the music.
The Women's Jingle Dress is a dance that is quite active and exciting to watch. Long, tubular cones used as decoration on the dancer's dress jingle as the dancer moves with the music.
The Men's Grass Dance is an expression of the movement of grass on a windy day. The dancers wear an abundance of fringes and ribbon that helps to enhance the graceful movement of the dancer's as they sway in an imaginary breeze.
The Men's Traditional Dance derives from the dance of a war party recounting its feats for the tribe.The dancers use a ‘coup stick' and wear feather bustles and paint their faces to intimidate the opponent.The dancer always faces his enemy and never turns a complete circle.
The Men's Straight Dance tells a story of a hunting or war party on the trail of an animal or an enemy.
The Men's Fancy Dance is exactly that with fancy regalia that features feather bustles and headdresses that are topped with one or two feathers mounted in rockers that move back and forth, intricate steps and a fast drum beat.
If you have never been to a pow-wow and have questions here are a few general guidelines:
Dress and act appropriately. Pointing fingers is considered poor manners by some nations so use your head or nod in the direction. The arena seating is reserved for dancers in regalia and seats are saved with blankets and shawls and should not be moved. Pets should be left at home. Listen to the Master of Ceremonies and he will announce who is to dance and when. Pictures should not be taken during the Veteran's Songs, Flag Songs, Prayers, or any other time announced by the Master of Ceremonies. Flash photography should not be used during contest dances.
If you wish to photograph a dancer in regalia, ask first. Show respect to the Flag, Honor and Veteran's songs by standing until the song is completed. The Flag Song, or Indian National Anthem, is sung when the American flag is raised or lowered. Please stand and remove hats during the singing of this song. It is not a song for dancing. Pictures are not allowed during these songs.
Never intentionally touch another dancer's regalia, person or property or the Drum without permission. Alcohol, recreational drugs, and firearms are prohibited at most pow-wows.
If you see a lost feather do not pick it up, notify the nearest veteran Head Man Dancer, or the Arena Director.
If you have a question, ask. Most dancers, singers, elders and staff are happy to help.