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The Powwow Dancing Mesmerized Me

Nicole Meier from Switzerland

John Butler
Photo: Sandy Peters
John Butler, who is wearing a bone vest and a bustle of eagle feathers down his back, will do a men's traditional dance.


Dancers wearing bustles made of eagle feathers
Photo: Sandy Peters
Dancers wear bustles of eagle feathers while performing the men's traditional dance.


Athletic dancing and fancy footwork

Photo: Sandy Peters
Gabe Bullock and another dancer each wear two colorful bustles as they do some very athletic fancy dancing with fast footwork.



 

Nicole Meier feels attending an American pow wow held at Rice University, helped her gain some understanding of Native American culture.

The pow-wow was just fantastic! I could never have imagined how colorful and impressive this evening would be. The dances and the clothes, which were decorated with eagle feathers, mesmerized me.

I had heard about the pow wow dancing in our culture class at Rice University, so I was curious to see what the Native Americans would look like in their traditional clothes.

The opening dance was supposed to start at 6.30 p.m. Since I didn’t want to miss any dances, I arrived there on time; however, the dancing began an hour late. How could I have forgotten? I had learned in our class that Native Americans have a different feeling for time?

First, they started to play music with their drums; it was accompanied by their low voices. “Hamma hamma…”. The music was exactly the same as I had heard in the movies.

The Native Americans gradually changed their clothes; they wore incredibly amazing costumes, special hairstyles and multicolored faces for the dances.

Finally, the competitions were initiated; the participants danced in distinguished groups. They swung their arms and moved their feet in special steps, always to the rhythm of the music.

After an hour of enthusiastically enjoying them, I took a break to eat some characteristic Native American fried bread. Finally, at 9.30 p.m., I left that spectacular place, having stayed two hours longer than I had first planned to stay. I will never forget this unique evening; it gave me a little view into the culture of Native Americans. 



Interview: Pow Wow Dancer Gabe Bullock

Interview: Pow Wow Dancer Brinder Jacobs

A Close-up Look: Native American Pow Wow Dress

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