Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My First Powwow in a couple of years

Well, I am attempting to catch up a bit from the last month. I took this photo at the Lost But Not Forgotten 1st Annual Eastern Woodlands Powwow. If you are interested in checking out powwows in your area, you can visit this sitefor potential listings.

Powwows represent a hodge-podge of Native American culture from various traditions. While there are both spiritual, financial, musical, and physical components, these events largely provide a space for Indians and non-natives alike to connect and celebrate culture.

I went to visit my best friend on the planet--Willie--and his family near columbus and we took a road trip to this powwow. Willie and I both felt like it was one of the best powwows we had been to in a while. We knew many of the songs, so it was a bit nostalgic for us--it's not often you here Shawnee songs being sung at a powwow. The vendors were really friendly and down to earth too. Sometimes you can go to an event like this (regardless of culture--people are people) and it's as though people take on a different persona--people were very real, personable, and friendly across the board at this event.

While I was at the powwow, I had a long conversation with a flute maker. He had some flutes that were made from olive wood from Israel. The trees were very old. I told him I had a really good friend who did some woodworking in Israel. At first he didn't get my drift, and then he knew the woodworker I was talking about--that was his Master. So me and the flute guy talked about Jesus and flutes and powwows and music. I bought a flute.

I used to play in my tribe's tribal council house a while back, but never quite had the opportunity to play a ton, but now, I'm learning it again.

After cutting my hair, it's been really good to walk in places like powwows and experience traditions like playing the flute. Of course, most people have no idea about my background, and that's ok. It doesn't diminish me, my culture, or my enjoyment of my traditions (and other's) any less. It's good to be around other native people--especially Willie and his family.

This event took place about a month ago, but the story is worth sharing. If I am able to attend this powwow in the future, I probably will. And in the mean time, I will definitely enjoy playing my flute, and learning to slow down and appreciate the world around me.

No comments: