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Old 06-23-2008, 02:45 PM   #1
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Attendance Down At Powwow

As a sound contractor and recording studio that specializes in our Native people, I have noticed a large decline in attendance at powwows. Fewer drums, fewer dancers, fewer vendors and fewer spectators seem to be the norm this year. I have also noticed many powwows that have been around for years are on the decline.

Upon talking to many on the circuit, I have found that the rising cost of food and fuel is the major problem. I myself have taken less jobs because I am also taking a big hit on the cost of producing sound for powwows. That $4 a gallon mark on fuel is crimping the style of many of us out on the circuit.

What do you think of our current situation with prices going up for everyday living and our culture being caught in the middle resulting in a decline in your powwow attendance?

Ken
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:54 PM   #2
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Lightbulb Try.....

$1.35 a litre......In Sitting Bull's Grandmother's country.....Canada

I'm sure it flucuates Province to Province and it will increase, but multiply $1.35 by 4! (Well 3.8, I round it off...) So thats $5.40 a Gallon.....roughly! Purty Rugged.....Hey I enjoy a good Powwow, but there are other doings as well.....The expresion; "Fly the Friendly Skies" is becoming a thing of the past....Fuel surcharges and Baggage surcharges are getting up there......We'll be travelling this Summer, but not as much as usual.....This is only the beginning folks....
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:13 PM   #3
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Someone like myself doesn't going to a lot of pow-wows, esecially since I am a local kinda guy anyway. With the high prices of gas, I will travel less anyway.

Pow-wow is a part of our culture, but I have long felt that it has become more of a pop culture in recent years. Maybe the high price of gas is Creators way of reeling us back in. Besides, there are other things that I can do during the summer like getting huckleberries, hanging out in the woods with a rifle (hunting), watch my kids play sports, or just plain ol BBQ with the family.
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:22 PM   #4
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I hear you Kneegrow, I've been concentrating a lot on doing things with my family and traditional local activities rather than powwowing lately. I'm waiting anxiously to pick huckleberries and be in the mountains again. I live next to a mountain right now but the berries aren't here yet : (
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:04 PM   #5
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i dont think it on the decline over here in washington...just this past weekend powwow in muckleshoot it was the biggest i seen in it in many years....alot of people traveled from canada, arizona and other parts of the country....
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:45 PM   #6
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It just depends on what your "circuit" is. Where I'm at in Minnesota I've got a powwow every weekend within 3 hours in any direction. I've noticed a little bit less of a Canadian presence, but seen many of the regulars from all over. For the professional dancers it prob won't change their habits, maybe they'll hit a closer one occasionally, but they'll prob continue to hit the same ones, especially when July rolls around and we get the amazing 30ish straight days of powwows.

Can't wait till Red Lake!!!!!!
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:48 PM   #7
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Man.....costs wayyyyyyy too much to travel for me and my family these days. So....for the time being I got back in school. It's great. Lovin' it, but this fever....boy....it's burnin' me up.
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:55 PM   #8
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I have a new toyoto tundra and the price of gas to fill it up is already a big headache, so any powwows that I attend will be within a 500 mile distance.
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:05 PM   #9
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ya im really thinkin about what ones i want to go to this year ... i dont really like travelling at all so ya wont be seein me at any one more than 4 hrs from my house anyways LOL. thats my attention span limit these days ... my oldest daughter wants to go pow wow alot ... but i think im gonna be reeling it in this yr. so im jus waiting to hear the "i hate you ... mom!!!" when i tell her we wont be goin to this one and that one ... LOL
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:36 PM   #10
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I probably wont hit those same powwows like i did last year due to gas prices, but where I live there are powwows almost every weekend........i actually enjoyed going to the local powwows these last couple of weekends, saw different faces, met new frens, hung out with my parents, brothers, sisters (they dont travel the pw circuit like i did)............for the professionals, they will still travel regardless, b/c thats how some, not all make their living.
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:09 PM   #11
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I'm too cheap!....lol

My sister and I were just talking about this. We are both College Graduates with good jobs and a percap check to add to the income so "lack of funds" isn't really an issue in traveling to a pow-wow. But our travel has become less frequent. When I think about going to a pow-wow, we'll say 12 hours away, that is 3 tanks of gas (one way). A 30 gallon tank at $4.00/gallon is $120.00/tank. Now take that and multiply it by 5 for a round trip...... $600.00!!! That doesnt include the cost of food or a place to stay! The moral of the story....I love to pow-wow! I place more than not BUT I'm just too dang cheap to spend that much money!! I would rather take that money and invest in my home and my children's sports. Don't get me wrong....you will see me at the occasional "far away" pow-wow but I'm doing it local this summer.
And to echo what has already been said......"this is just the beginning."
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:43 PM   #12
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Yo, kneegrow, you said it, bigtime. This powwow thing has become "pop culture". I don't travel anymore so I'll be a snugglin' w/ my hunny, she's been in county for a couple months so she's ready for some mclovin or at least a whataburger................... Or a Lotaburger, eh, nikki?
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:10 PM   #13
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Well I'm not travelling much b/c 1)gas is way to much and2) I now have three rugrats to take care off. Wife doesn't want them powwwing yet. Maybe the oldest next year.
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:50 AM   #14
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I think that powwows are on the decline too but the ones who are gonna take the biggest hit is canadian powwows. 1.39 a litre today and if you add that up in gallons thats almost 6 bucks a gallon!!!
if your in a province where powwows are all within 2-3 hours drive it won't be so bad but it will be hella local, with very little american presence.
Mark my words.....
within 1-2 years....
Be prepared to shell out a couple of G's more to drums for hosting your powwow or inviting them if your on a powwow commitee, cause thats the only way your gonna get a good drum from far away cause 3000 0r 4000 wont cut it anymore to bring in far away drums cause if ya split that up 10-12 ways thats not alot, specially there bringing fam with em.
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:16 PM   #15
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I definitely am traveling less this summer. If there's a powwow several hours hours away, I'd rather stay home and save up for flying to a big one. But with airline fees going up, that's going to be ridiculous soon too.
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:26 PM   #16
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there were alot of americans at white rock this past week ... like alot .... saw Utah ... Minnesota ... Arizona ... South Dakata ... North Dakota tags in the parkin lot. even a couple Alberta tags LOL
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Old 07-01-2008, 04:40 AM   #17
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Well I get a bunch of powwow peeps to go in on gas and it makes it alot cheaper!! Plus this summer we're headed up North for 3-4weeks where on our trail, as luck will have it, we have 3 great powwows one weekend after the other on mah travellin trail. I start off in Seattle, go to Julyamsh, then on da way home will hit up Ft Hall. And that is after bypassing Montana....LOL. Dang, wish there were powwows on da weekdays....aye. Then we also camp it, ole fashioned way, no hotels or stay with friends. Plus take along da ole bologna, spam, water, and lil munchies here and there, waa lah, you're savin $$$$. I don't need motels or Applebee's every where I go. I like to rough it and do it da ole style ways. But lately I have been savin da $$ and still hittin up AZ powwows and beyond.

So I hope to see some of ya all on the trail somewhere up in da north............mid July. Drive safe and don't rush trying to get home, be smart.

Nezzy
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:37 AM   #18
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We are lucky living here in Oklahoma
Usually a powwow in any direction no more than three hours away
We split gas with others, Thats how we made it down to Marksville La this year and how we are going to other powwows
Red Earth seemed a little smaller this year but not sure if it was because of the gas prices or the boycott that some were doing

All in all I would say Attendance has been about the same
I still see the same peoples that are on the Trail...
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:36 AM   #19
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my wife and I are artists/crafters and have spent the past 6 years on the trail all over North America. Things are about to change. We live near Montreal and travel each year to GON. This year it cost us $2500 round trip in gas. I don't know if that trip will happen next year. It just doesn't make sense.

We are evaluating where and what for the future. It's a funny challenge cuz we have always worked our art for the Native Community. We make stuff for the Native market and the Native wallet. We are not fans of the non-native folks determining what we make. We need to be where the people are, but we can't afford to get there....We don't want to start working for the non-native buyers, (art shows) they have coopted enough of the Native experience.
So in the end for us the high price of gas is a threat to the Native Art and Craft we share. We have no intension of quitting but we will be traveling more carefully. Perhaps like the old days, longer visits to each regional area. And here we are, packing for a great summer of Powwows.
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