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Old 09-20-2005, 01:07 PM   #1
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Pow Wow expresses cultural heritage of regional tribes

James Shea

Daily Press Writer

DELTA - Montrose resident Gail Boden, a member of the Chippewa Tribe, took her Grandson, Korban Christianson, to the Council Tree Pow Wow in Delta Saturday.

She wants him to learn more about his heritage.

"We don't want this to be a lost culture to our children," Boden said.

The pow wow is an annual celebration where tribes from the region honor their native tradition. Bowden said the ceremony has come a long way in recent years.

"When it started, it was hardly anything, but it has really grown," she said.

During the Grand Entrance, over 100 men, women and children entered the dance circle. Adorned in traditional costumes, covered in beads, feathers and porcupine quills, the tribal members danced, sang and drummed while onlookers watched.

Bowden said the traditions in Michigan, where her tribe resides, are very different than in Colorado. But she said pow-wows allow each tribe to present its unique tradition.

She said, in the past, she performed the shawl dance but does not dance much anymore, preferring to watch and educate her grandchildren. When the dancers entered the circle, she pointed out a particular dancer she liked.

Boden was surprised at the cameras at the pow wow. She said at many pow wows, people are not allowed to photograph and only the dancers can enter the dance area.

"It's very spiritual for these people," she said.

Dr. Jimmy Jefferson, a leader of the pow wow, addressed the crowd. He said the ceremony was a chance for people to experience native cultures firsthand.

"This is something we want to pass on to all people," Jefferson said.

He said the ceremony was spiritual, involving prayers and blessing and asked the people who attended to honor the veterans of war.

"These songs are the songs where we honor the veterans," Jefferson said. "These songs are very powerful."

He said native people have been misrepresented in history books and he wanted the people attending to get a true understanding of native culture.

"It's not entertaining - we are showing," he said.

Grand Junction residents Anthony Bogart and Katherine Monroe were attending their third pow wow in Delta. They said they enjoyed the atmosphere at the ceremony.

"I like the peaceful attitude by all the attendees and the respect they show for all the cultures," Monroe said.

Bogart said he finds a spiritual connection.

"I like the individual culture and this is a culture that is closer to the rhythms of the natural world," he said. "I'm interested in consciousness that is integrated into the natural world."

State Rep. Ray Rose attended the ceremony and presented the pow wow with a check from the state's cultural fund. He said the ceremony is a way for people to experience the native cultures.

He added that the celebration was positive for the Delta community.

"It's a tremendous economic benefit to the community," he said.

Before he presented the check, state Sen. Lewis Entz gave Rose a hard time about wearing a suit.

"This is a pow wow, not a legislative session," Entz said.

Contact James Shea via e-mail at [email protected]
http://www.montrosepress.com/article...cal_news/2.txt
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