The 4th of July powwow was at Iron Lightning, way back a dusty road from the highway. It was ungodly hot.
It is a family affair about which I learned far more than I can remember to tell you. The Cheyenne River Reservation combined four "tribes". We hear all about Pine Ridge but the history here is just as important. This was a big family reunion with softball and volleyball tournaments, dancing competitions, foot races and walks, punt, pass and kick competitions, and a terrifying horse race which ended with a plunge straight down a hill. At least one of the horses had to be walked down - smart horse. The leader fell off her horse at the bottom but climbed back on and won the race for the fourth time. The man at the microphone was funny. He mentioned that Mother Margaret just walked in. She was in civvies so the people didn't really recognize her, especially the kids. The 10 flags are relatives who have died and are honored. There is a song for everything including taking the flags down. The word Vietnam was pretty easy to understand. Everyone stands when someone is honored.
This is a bit of the Grand Entry.
This was a dance for young men.
Free beef. Someone also brought fruit to share. They are very generous.
Royalty. They are chosen by the tribe and have to learn certain things like language and customs. The gal in white did the Traditional Dance amazingly well. It is difficult. Stand in one place and keep the rhythm with her feet even while the drummer changes it. Really tiring on the calves.
There are two other dances for women. The shawl dance and the jingle dance which this was.
The youth dancers. Even the youngest are learning the footwork.
There was a naming ceremony. Naming ceremonies recognize the special contributions of members. The family brought bags of goodies to share with all the kids and eventually all the adults too. There were special packages for the veterans. The star quilt is "actually" a buffalo robe, a high honor to receive.
John and I. He said he had just received much of his regalia the night before from friends.
The slogan of the Youth Diabetes Prevention Program.