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Powwow Entering Its 20th Year

Fall 2011 | Archives

Every September, on the grounds where Ponca Chief Standing Bear once awaited trial, the Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow is held. This year's event marks the 20th anniversary of the powwow and honoring Native peoples from around the region, their customs and history. Nearly 400 native artists participate in the traditional dance, music, storytelling and foods on the Fort Omaha Campus of MCC annually.

Following native tradition, an elder opens and closes the Powwow in prayer, spoken in English and in native language. Native vendors display their beautiful works of art as well as crafts and goods to sell, while educating and promoting the rich tradition surrounding the items. Demonstrations, games and study circles are held throughout the day and all are invited to attend.

Powwow kids Preceding the Powwow on Saturday, Sept. 24, the Dreams of Eagles and Omaha Public Schools will offer 4,000 fourth graders the opportunity to take field trips concentrating on Native American culture. The students participate in hands-on activities and learning stations such as leather, jewelry, paintings, clothing, herbs and medicine, dance and language to help them further their understanding of the traditions.

A crowd favorite and long-time tradition of the Intertribal Powwow is the crowning of the Powwow Princess. Future Princess candidates must be female, between the ages of 12 and 18, be in school, be unmarried and have no children and be in full regalia at Powwow dancers the event. Candidates are required to fill out an application with general information and have commitment from the family to participate in upcoming events if selected. A personal interview is conducted by the judges during the powwow with questions such as motivation to serve as princess, understanding of her cultural background and the significance of the princess as a role model. The candidates are called into the powwow arena to introduce themselves to the crowd and share a few brief comments. Finally, the candidates demonstrate their dance skills to the beat of a host drum while the judges keep score. Then the crowd and family members of the princess candidates await the suspense-filled announcement by the Master of Ceremonies who identifies the selected princess. The reigning Intertribal Powwow Princess, Lisa Ebert of the Northern Ponca tribe, will crown the new princess at this year's event.

This year, the Powwow and MCC will host a very special performer, Kevin Locke. Locke is known throughout the world as a visionary Hoop Dancer, preeminent player of the indigenous North Plains flute, traditional storyteller, cultural ambassador, recording artist and educator. His performance is at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Powwow drums Please join MCC and the Native American community on the historic Fort Omaha Campus on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, from 1 to 7:30 p.m. In case of inclement weather on the Powwow date, call (402) 457-2499 for cancellation information. Bring your own chairs to set up on the grounds. Food and craft vendors will be available. There is no alcohol allowed on the premises.

 
 
 
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