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Old 07-06-2016, 04:55 PM   #1
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Strangest Powwow?

I've been to powwows up and down the east and west coasts from Alaska to Florida. In my travels I've seen some "strange" things that made me shake my head, roll my eyes and go Hmmmmmm?

What is the strangest powwow you have been to?

What did you see?
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Old 07-06-2016, 06:25 PM   #2
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They did one in the highschool gymnasium which consisted of 6 people wearing feather boas and tinsel while singing songs they had made up for us, including their own rendition of the scooby doo theme song. They also threw candy into the bleachers while dancing. I was like 8 but I remember it vividly.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:43 PM   #3
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I dunno......lemme think about that........that being said I never attended a hobbyisy powwow but seen many online........but I think all the powwows I been to were pretty much ndn powwows............I have seen some strange stuff happen here and there though
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:18 PM   #4
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Just about anything in PA.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:47 AM   #5
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I'm a powwow s__t magnet. If there is a non-Indian weirdo freak, they're going to plop their bottom down on my blanket and try to make friendly. Often they will offer a unique -- uh -- commentary on the proceedings.

I went to a AISES/NASA powwow at a particular institution of higher learning in Boston in 1995. Most of the participants were your standard students and family, with some community members in the mix. But there were also a handful of hobs and just plain freaks.

There was one gentleman dressed in the finest in French and Indian War re-enactor wear. Of course it was complete with woodlands side tab leggings and breech cloth, sans swim trunks. He clearly had dropped a goodly amount of money of this outfit, getting all the details right. Except for two things: He wore full face paint, in really freaky day-glow colors. His beard was slicked down into a thick layer of eye-searing, electric-blue grease paint. The absolute most garish face paint I have ever seen. And, he had chosen to cap off the outfit with a stuffed turkey mounted, with one wing outspread, atop a 6 ft long pole.

When he danced, he would periodically wave the pole in vast circles, setting loose waves of mothball stench. He created a 12' diameter Indian exclusion zone in the middle of the floor. When he wasn't dancing he sat on a stool, he had surrounded with a ring of corn meal. Of course he ended up in the paper.


I was at a powwow at Pojoaque in '94. Nice dance; normal people -- expect for one non-Indain lady who had drifted down from Taos on the hum or up from Santa Fe on something. She danced the entire event -- all dances men's and women's -- in her broom stick skirt and bare feet. All her moves were executed with her eyes closed, which added a random moving object to the circle. I have no idea why the AD didn't remove her. Fortunately, she confined herself to making tight rounds, in one spot at the very edge of the dance circle.

Her favorite step was sort of gliding slide of the right foot, while swooping both arms toward the ground. This was followed by a rigorous up and down motion, ending with her arms lifted skyward. After several minutes of watching her, my cousin decided she was channelling the spirit of her departed Irish washer woman ancestor.

Last edited by OLChemist; 07-07-2016 at 12:25 PM.. Reason: Getting the sentences in the right order helps.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:14 PM   #6
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After several minutes of watching her, my cousin decided she was channelling the spirit of her departed Irish washer woman ancestor.
I have never laughed so hard in my life
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Old 07-08-2016, 03:37 PM   #7
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At the next year of the same Boston area AISES/NASA powwow, I saw another mildly amusing event. There was an aging Baby Boomer, who hadn't really updated her look since Woodstock, in attendance. You could tell at a glance, that she was a full-blood member of the Crop-Circle, Crystal Toting Twinkie tribe. Further, she had spent the nearly 30 years since Woodstock chain smoking and probably not plants from the Nicotiana genus. So, she had smoker's skin and her teeth had been discolored and in places eaten away.

Of course, she latched on to me at the vendors' tables and I didn't get her scrapped off until I offended her. She had decided, based on some signal I must give off that I am unable to either detect or control, to tell me all about attending "ceremonies" for the Harmonic Convergence in the "grand kiva" in Chaco Canyon. When she got to the part about how she felt "something" at midnight, I offered an alternative explanation for the source of her mystical feelings: "The ghosts of a few hundred Pueblo men, who were pissed off about a white chick invading their kiva." She beat a rather hasty retreat to the ladies room. And I spent the rest of the dance trying to keep the bulk of the building between us.

Anyway, she was really interested in having another "spiritual" experience at with Indians (men), because she started shadowing various male dancers. Her particular favorite was a lovely, late twenty-something gentleman in a green grass dance outfit. I will say she did have good taste, because -- while most Indian men look particularly fine in their dance clothing -- he was exceptional. She kept popping up at his elbow all day. And he was all too aware of her obviously unwanted presence.

Late in the afternoon she got her chance for a closer encounter. The MC called for a ladies' choice. With a huge snaggle-toothed grin on her face, this woman began forcefully elbowing her way through the circle of spectators, purposefully making her way toward her choice. He spun on his heel, tossed a five over his shoulder, literally ran through a side door and, I think, kept sprinting down Garden Street.

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Old 07-08-2016, 03:49 PM   #8
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...

Late in the afternoon she got her chance for a closer encounter. The MC called for a ladies' choice. With a huge snaggle-toothed grin on her face, this woman began forcefully elbowing her way through the circle of spectators, purposefully making her way toward her choice. He spun on his heel, tossed a five over his shoulder, literally ran through a side door and, I think, kept sprinting down Garden Street.
That is amazing. I bet she was heart broken. The one time that almost happened to me I turned away to avoid eye contact with this lady and I didn't have to pay anyone because I was contracted and thus exempt - and my wife was there, she would have torn her apart.
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Old 07-09-2016, 01:30 AM   #9
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I'm a powwow s__t magnet. If there is a non-Indian weirdo freak, they're going to plop their bottom down on my blanket and try to make friendly. Often they will offer a unique -- uh -- commentary on the proceedings.

I went to a AISES/NASA powwow at a particular institution of higher learning in Boston in 1995. Most of the participants were your standard students and family, with some community members in the mix. But there were also a handful of hobs and just plain freaks.

There was one gentleman dressed in the finest in French and Indian War re-enactor wear. Of course it was complete with woodlands side tab leggings and breech cloth, sans swim trunks. He clearly had dropped a goodly amount of money of this outfit, getting all the details right. Except for two things: He wore full face paint, in really freaky day-glow colors. His beard was slicked down into a thick layer of eye-searing, electric-blue grease paint. The absolute most garish face paint I have ever seen. And, he had chosen to cap off the outfit with a stuffed turkey mounted, with one wing outspread, atop a 6 ft long pole.

When he danced, he would periodically wave the pole in vast circles, setting loose waves of mothball stench. He created a 12' diameter Indian exclusion zone in the middle of the floor. When he wasn't dancing he sat on a stool, he had surrounded with a ring of corn meal. Of course he ended up in the paper.


I was at a powwow at Pojoaque in '94. Nice dance; normal people -- expect for one non-Indain lady who had drifted down from Taos on the hum or up from Santa Fe on something. She danced the entire event -- all dances men's and women's -- in her broom stick skirt and bare feet. All her moves were executed with her eyes closed, which added a random moving object to the circle. I have no idea why the AD didn't remove her. Fortunately, she confined herself to making tight rounds, in one spot at the very edge of the dance circle.

Her favorite step was sort of gliding slide of the right foot, while swooping both arms toward the ground. This was followed by a rigorous up and down motion, ending with her arms lifted skyward. After several minutes of watching her, my cousin decided she was channelling the spirit of her departed Irish washer woman ancestor.
pojuaque powwow is small haha......and public powwows everywhere attract this stuff.......if she tried that at feast she would be removed.........I spent a lot of time growing up summers
next door in chimayo
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Old 07-09-2016, 07:40 AM   #10
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Hawaiian Gardens Powwow, Los Angeles area

This small urban powwow brings an eclectic mix of Authentic Native Americans, New-Agers, and "Latinos" which is a catch-all label

The BEAR DANCE is a huge attraction, members of the California Rancherias perform this dance, but under strict controls. At least a dozen young men rove around making sure NO CAMERAS, NO PHOTOS during the Bear Dance.

I respect the Bear Dance, and stood by as a Spectator, all cameras put away.

A few Urban People went into "Trances and Visions" and had to be pulled aside and attended to by "Elders" to guide them through this experience.

This year it will be August 13 & 14, 2016
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Old 07-09-2016, 09:41 AM   #11
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I spent a lot of time growing up summers
next door in chimayo
*Heavy sigh of longing and jealousy*

Oh well, I'll get my fix this fall. I'm going to try to head out to NM and maybe AZ. I need rough turquoise, gaspeite, lapis and some decent jet. (The PA stuff just isn't as nice as Acoma jet; it just doesn't polish up as well.) And I need to smell chile roasting in every parking lot and buy pinion nuts from the back of a pickup truck parked on the side of the road, LOL.
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Old 07-11-2016, 05:36 PM   #12
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*Heavy sigh of longing and jealousy*

Oh well, I'll get my fix this fall. I'm going to try to head out to NM and maybe AZ. I need rough turquoise, gaspeite, lapis and some decent jet. (The PA stuff just isn't as nice as Acoma jet; it just doesn't polish up as well.) And I need to smell chile roasting in every parking lot and buy pinion nuts from the back of a pickup truck parked on the side of the road, LOL.
you just described heaven
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:30 PM   #13
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you just described heaven
Almost. Add the scent of woodsmoke, fresh whitewash, and baking pumpkin. Just what you guys need. Another outsider in love with NM. Blame Mr Nez, my 9th grade crafts teacher. He first put the jeweler's saw in my hand. Those Dine smiths get hold of you and end up homesick for canned tomatoes sprinkled with sugar and the smell of sheep, LOL.

Sheesh, I don't know where that thread hijack came from, LOL. I wonder what the "spices" were in that new rub I put on my chicken....
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:56 PM   #14
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They did one in the highschool gymnasium which consisted of 6 people wearing feather boas and tinsel
LOL. Reminds me of the Gathering of Nations when the New Orleans Marti Gras "Indians" were invited!
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:59 PM   #15
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lemme think about that........that being said I never attended a hobbyisy powwow but seen many online
I learned something new in the past couple of years. There are regular hobbyist powwows that have goofy dancers/singers and there are high end hobbyist dances where all the dancers have eagle feathers and wear some pretty snazzy outfits!
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Old 07-12-2016, 03:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Toolbox View Post
Just about anything in PA.
I emcee a powwow in PA every year. Some of the things I witness are very "interesting!" But I try and do my part to keep it real!
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Old 07-12-2016, 03:05 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by OLChemist View Post
I was at a powwow at Pojoaque in '94. Nice dance; normal people -- expect for one non-Indain lady who had drifted down from Taos on the hum or up from Santa Fe on something.
There used to be a lady in NM about that time you mentioned, that fits your description. She was braless, bucktooth and danced with a baby wrapped in a blanket tied around the back of her neck. I wonder if this is the same person?
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Old 07-12-2016, 03:08 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by milehighsalute View Post
poI spent a lot of time growing up summers next door in chimayo
I'll bet no chile compares to Chimayo Red Chile? LOL I attend
the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo feast to visit family and my Godson when I can.
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Old 07-12-2016, 03:12 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by AmigoKumeyaay View Post
Hawaiian Gardens Powwow, Los Angeles area

The BEAR DANCE is a huge attraction, members of the California Rancherias perform this dance, but under strict controls.
I witnessed a Bear Dance one summer on the Pala Reservation. They danced by firelight. I was honored to be asked to dance with them at one point during the night!

I used to go to the Ute Bear Dance at the Southern Ute and Ute Mtn Ute reservations.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:07 PM   #20
is rockin & rollin \m/
 
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Was at Elmo, MT back in 1990 for a Vietnam Veterans Powwow and a female MC was yelling at a drum to stop singing cause she had a lost child at her side and was looking for her parents, she ran over to the drum while they were singing and physically stopped the drum by grabbing at the drummers drumsticks. We had just got there and the drummers were none too pleased they said they were insulted and they were never going to this powwow again. A lot of the spectators got up and were leaving as well. We left and never went back either. The female MC I remember was saying where is everybody going? This was Friday evening during the start of the powwow.
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