Native Culture

The Kalispel Tribe is holding its annual Powwow meeting. This is the first time I’ve been able to go.

Native dancers from as far as Arizona and even Kansas I think attended.  Colorful dancing costumes were in abundance, as was Native American music and food.

Annual powwow meetings are held throughout the country to reaffirm Native American heritage and culture.

I got there in time for the grand entry, where all the dancers made their appearance in traditional garb and dance.  But I think I missed the buffalo BBQ!

There was also a hall where traditional drumming was held.  There were two groups in two elongated circles drumming traditional songs.  I wasn’t able to figure out the meaning of several things of interest.  The drummers would take turn tossing a pair of squared bones? towards the other drummers.  It almost look like they were throwing dice.  One of the square objects had black strips on it, the other was entirely white.

There was also painted sticks being tossed to specific drummers at various times, but I never did understand the meaning of this.

The dance costumes were spectacular. You could easily tell that a lot of effort went into their construction.

Surrounding the giant tent were teepees and numerous campsites.  Parked outside, instead of horses were Fords and Dodge trucks.

Everybody was doing it.  The kids, young people, elderly.  It was pretty amazing.

To think that we destroyed these “savages” for their way of life and traditions is pretty sad.

The long, sordid history of the U.S. Government and its abusive practices towards Native American Indians is a history filled with treachery, violence, oppression, forced sterilizations, lies and quite literally, nearly endless genocide.

Walking around, you could tell quite a few Indians hadn’t forgotten this either.  T-shirts for sale said things like “Native American Pride” and “My Hero’s Killed Cowboys” and “Homeland Security since 1492”.  I can’t say that I blame them. I’ve collected stories and several books over the years that depict the true history of their suffering at the hands of the invaders, a practice which continues to this day by this government.

There were a number of vendors with Indian bumper stickers, T-shirts, sweatshirts and Native American hand-crafts. Traditional tepees were erected all around the place, but they weren’t easy to get pictures of, due to the numerous R.V.’s and trucks also parked around them.

It looked like everybody was having a great time.

I think it’s pretty neat that they reaffirm their culture and heritage to this day.  In about a hundred years, they should get it all back I’d think.  That is of course, whatever is left.


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