My mom, Isaiah and I went over to the Ho-Chunk Pow Wow for a couple hours this afternoon. I’ve lived on a Native American reservation for more than half my life, but somehow had never actually attended a pow wow before. Most years, I find out about it the week after it happened, when people are talking about it. This year, though, I made a point of looking into the dates. This is actually the neighboring tribe’s pow wow. I’ll be going to the one here next week.
When we got to the pow wow grounds, they were starting a tribute to the military. The Ho-Chunk tribe has a song for each branch of the military in their language that were performed. There were a couple soldiers who had just returned from overseas in time to attend the pow wow. The participated walked around the circle in their uniforms during the Army song. After all the songs for the military, they called out an Air Force sergeant to honor him for his twenty years of service. He was also presented an eagle feather by an older member of the tribe. (From what I can gather, this is a great honor.)
After the tributes to the military, there was a break in the activities while some of the drum groups got ready. We took advantage of that time to go in search of food. My mom and Isaiah both love fry bread, so we had to make sure to get some while we had the opportunity. We also got some drinks because it was insanely hot.
When the dancing started again, Isaiah stayed with my mom in the stands (where there was shade!) and I moved into a better spot for taking pictures (in the sun). I was amazed at the number of young children who were dancing. Some of them were as good at the dances as the adults around them! I loved all the bright colors in their outfits and the various dance steps. It was like stepping back into history for a while.
Since I took a ton of pictures and am having trouble deciding which to share, I threw together a quick slideshow of them. The music is in the Ho-Chunk language, but not one of the songs we heard. There weren’t very many options in iTunes!