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Pow wow

August 9, 2010 - Karin Elton

I went to the wacipi the Upper Sioux Community puts on near Granite Falls this weekend. I recommend going to at least one in a lifetime. I like the outdoors ones the best. Each dancer’s regalia is unique — brightly colored and painstakingly decorated with feathers, leather, ribbons and beads. Some have jingles attached to their garments and when they dance, it sounds like cottonwood trees singing in the wind. Women dancers outstretch their arms to show their colorful shawls as part of their dance.

I like watching the old guys dance — perhaps they were forced to not speak their language or practice their religion when they were young, but they are dancing now.

There were a lot of young ones dancing. I particularly was fascinated by a 2-year-old tot in full regalia who knew all the steps and stopped exactly when the drums stopped.

In between dances the announcer told jokes like what did the mother buffalo say to her calf as he was leaving? “Bi son.” And “An east Indian, an Irishman, an American Indian and a white guy were on the roof of a skyscraper. The east Indian jumped off saying, “This is for my country!” The Irishman jumped off saying, “This is for my country!” The American Indian pushed the white guy off saying, “This is for my country!”


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