WMU News

Annual Native American Pow-Wow is this weekend

March 27, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- The heritage of American Indians will be celebrated through song and dance during the annual Native American Contest Pow-Wow at Western Michigan University from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 29, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 30, in University Arena.

Now in its 14th year, the spring contest pow-wow attracts more than 4,500 visitors and hundreds of American Indian singers, dancers and traders to WMU's campus during the weekend. The public, especially families, are invited to attend the event, which features spectacular regalia, drumming, dancing, singing, food and artwork as well as Native American dance competitions.

This year's pow-wow, "Honoring Past, Present and Future Generations," is an "open drum" with a variety of drum groups participating. It is being sponsored by WMU's Native American Student Organization, Division of Multicultural Affairs and Office of Admissions and Orientation.

Snake Island, will serve as the "host drum," opening all grand entries and concluding the pow-wow ceremony. The grand entries, which feature dancers, singers, drummers and flag bearers in traditional clothing, are the only time all dancers are on the floor together. They will take place at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Dancers also can be seen throughout the weekend performing in categorical dance competitions and inter-tribal dances. Contests will include "jingle dance," "grass dance" and children's dances as well as men's and women's traditional and fancy dances. Dance competitors are treated to dinner on Saturday night.

Native American jewelry and arts and crafts from a variety of vendors, as well as pow-wow memorabilia, will be available for purchase. Food vendors will sell such traditional treats as fry bread, Indian tacos and buffalo burgers.

Admission to the event is $7 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and children ages 5 to 17. In addition, price packages are available for families and admission is free for children under age 5 and WMU students with valid student identification cards. Lot parking is available around University Arena for $3 per vehicle.

For more information, call the Native American Student Organization office at (269) 387-2279. Those interested also may contact Kevin Morrison, NASO president, at <k1morris@wmich.edu> or Jodi Palmer at <jodie.palmer@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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