How do families celebrate their warriors?
When the code talkers came home after completing their service in the war, their families honored them with singing and dancing during a family celebration called a powwow.
Powwows are still held today almost every weekend. The “stadium” is circular and drum groups set up around the perimeter, taking turns providing music. There is a Grand Entry where families and dancers enter moving to the beat of the drums. Veteran groups are often honored during the Grand Entry. Many carry in flags and wear uniforms along with pieces of regalia. Dancers are dressed in elaborate beaded regalia with feathered headdresses or plumes tied gracefully in their hair. It is a a wonderful way to start off the event.
Families of the honored guests will provide gifts to audience members. Gifts might include star quilts, other blankets, and even a horse at times is given away.
Dancers compete, twirling, and bouncing to the rhythm of the songs. Each dancer stops at just the right moment in time, on the very last beat of the song. It’s amazing.
Powwows honor veterans and warriors, acknowledge traditions, and showcase young people’s talents. It is a wonderful way to spend a weekend celebrating together as a family group.
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