Sunday, January 27, 2013

First Nations Powwow

We drove south to our State Capitol - Salem, Oregon - yesterday to attend the First Nations Powwow.  The Grand Entry was at 1 pm.  I just love the drumming, the singing, the dancing, the outfits the people wear are called regalia.  Beautiful beadwork and leather, feathers and bells.  This powwow was put on by the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde - the Umpqua, Mollalla, Rogue River, Kalapuya and Chasta.  Many other people from other tribes were here participating.
I filmed a 2 minute video on my iPhone - click on the arrow in the image below to see the dancing and hear the drumming and singing.

I love this man, he's beautifully dressed and is a drummer, too.
I want a hat like this!  Isn't it gorgeous? 
Here are some of the drummers. Boom, boom..  
I must tell you that it was impossible to get a good photograph with the light in the building and all the moving and twirling dancers.  I hope you enjoy them anyway - you at least should feel the movement with all the blurring colors. :-)
I was enthralled by the children that were all dressed up and enjoying the dancing.
Drumming group across the dance floor.  Do you see the drum?
Now they are out dancing.
Beautiful women, beads and eagle feathers.
I love the color in this man's regalia.
The star of the show was this absolutely adorable little girl, who toddled about the dance floor all afternoon, much to the delight of the onlookers.  Her dad was always nearby to watch her, it was precious.
This canoe below is wonderful and the tribe canoes up the rivers here and teaches their children about the old ways.
A traditional cedar bark hat in the canoe.

Drumming group - there are several at the powwow, they take turns performing for each of the different dances.
I captured a sweet moment on the dance floor, the younger girl's shawl had slipped off and the older one helped her get it back in place.
The tribal elders show the younger ones how to carve out a cedar canoe, you should have smelled the aroma of the fresh cedar as they worked.
I asked this delightful young woman permission to take a photo of her and her 3 month old baby girl and she was so sweet - she said yes and asked her mother for the little pink Pendleton baby blanket to wrap her baby in for the photo, and told us it was hers as a baby.  She pulled the pacifier out of the baby's mouth, but that did not go over well with baby, so she put it right back in. :-)  She told us which tribes she descended from and the baby's name, April.  Her first baby.
She also showed us the sweet little handmade moccasins - also hers from when she was a baby.
Each dance session has a special theme.. this one was for the young girls, they looked like butterflies twirling around the dance floor.
My new friend, her mother and baby April on the dance floor.
Next the men danced, isn't this something?
Two of the elder women, resting between dancing.
Another very young dancer.. cute, huh?  See the bells on her dress?  They are made from snuff can lids!  The girls that wear these are called, "Jingle Dancers".
This photo captures something memorable for me -- people show dancers that they like what they are doing by gifting them with a dollar - and this young boy tried to give the baby girl the dollar but she kept running away, he had to chase her all over the dance floor, but finally got her attention - this is him giving her a dollar.  She promptly toddled over to her dad and gave it to him.  Just adorable.
I hope you enjoyed the Powwow as much as we did!!  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 


  1. Hi Teresa! I really enjoyed this post and your photos are gorgeous. I feel like I was there! I have never attended a Gathering of Nations but we have this where I live, in New Mexico, every year too. I have always wanted to attend and I think I will definitely make a point of doing that in the future. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Fascinating....and fills me with questions about the native American view of how the traditions of the past are honored/practiced in our ever changing world. I can imagine the wonderful smell of the cedar and loved the wonderful weaving and beadwork! The regalia is amazing, and I loved the video of the drumming and dancing! The children are all especially precious, and the little jingle dancer absolutely won my heart :) Thanks so much for a wonderful post, Teresa and Dayle.

  3. Oh I really did enjoy the powwow Teresa! It was so much fun, so colorful and informative! Thanks so much for sharing. Love the costumes and all the motion and sounds! Best of all I loved the little people, we love those little ones!!!
    Thanks for the opportunity to see a real powwow, xoRobin❤

  4. The Powwow looks like amazing fun, I be it was a feast for the eyes all those colors and designs. I love the little ones, so cute. Thanks for sharing it with us Teresa,

  5. What a great event! Loved your photos of all the colorful costumes.

  6. Wonderful pictures Teresa! We have an annual Powwow here in Spokane on the tribal land by the river downtown. Several of our local tribes participate. It's really something to sit outside listening to the river rush by, tall buildings in the background, a bonfire and watching the dancing and drumming. Quite a clash of cultures and we enjoy it every summer.


  7. I enjoyed this so very much. How excellent that so many young people and small children are involved in this. That last picture was just about too much sweetness for me! Love it!

  8. Wow... That seems like it was a wonderful experience and I feel like I was there just by the way you describe everything and your wonderful pictures.

  9. What an amzing experience this must have been! I enjoyed seeing the pictures of the colourful and decorative textiles especially, Teresa! Wishing you a happy week!
    Helen x

  10. What an amazing feast for the senses! The color and craftsmanship is amazing!

  11. LOVED this post Teresa! The Native American dress (regalia) is beautiful and with the blurring, because of the lighting and movement,it's given the photos a very artsy effect!
    Glad you had a great time. I knew you would...
    PS: Adorable kids:)

  12. Dear Theresa,
    Thank you, thank you so much.
    It's great, so nice...
    What a big Day !
    Read you soon

  13. What fantastic pictures and a great outing...a fabulous taste of anothers life
    Thanks for sharing
    Hugs xx

  14. Wow...what a amazing sight! Everything is sooo beautiful!
    So glad you had a great time and the little ones look to cute!
    Hugs, Shari

  15. Love your powwow images! The colour of these costumes are amazing!
    Thank you for are always up to something interesting.
    Happy Monday.

  16. Oh how wonderful this must have been! Teresa, thank you so much for sharing it with us. That last photo is simply wonderful.


  17. What a wonderful show it must have been. Those little Jingle Dancers are so cute. And seeing the older kids care for the smaller ones is lovely. Best wishes to you, Tammy

  18. What wonderful pictures. The children are especially endearing.

  19. hello Teresa I seem to be late commenting on here for some reason. Such a wonderful post with stunning photos which along with your commentary bring it all alive. How I would have loved to have been there. Love Anne x


I absolutely love comments and thank you so much for taking time to leave me a note. :-)