Have you ever loved just the idea of something? That's how I feel about Indian Summer. Autumn is my favorite season of the year, I love it!!! And finally it's here!
An Indian summer is a meteorological phenomenon that occurs in autumn, in the Northern Hemisphere. It is characterized by a period of sunny, warm weather, after the leaves have turned following an onset of frost, but before the first snowfall.
So, we haven't had a frost (it's getting chilly), we won't have snow, most of the leaves haven't turned, but still we've had a period of glorious weather lately!
I was intrigued with Indians when I was a kid. We made a trip out west and passed through places with signs saying "Indian Reservation" and "Genuine Indian Handcrafted Jewelry" and the most fascinating of all, "Indian Trading Post". On my paternal grandmother's side I have an ancestor who was a Blackfoot Indian. I do. And my Aunt Helen (my favorite aunt, in case you missed the memo) and her husband adopted a baby boy who was Native American. He was just darling. He danced with an Indian group when he was young, and we got to watch him perform several times.
So in the spirit of Indian Summer and an interest in Native American culture, I jumped at the chance when Jennifer suggested we go to the 16th Annual Pow Wow at the Coushatta Indian Resort. It's a 3 day event, a large tribal gathering where Native American dancers, singers and drummers compete for top prize money. They come from all across the United States and Canada. The dancers wear handcrafted jewelry, beaded moccasins and colorful feathered regalia. They are stunningly beautiful.
I learned that all Pow Wows are sacred places and the Dancing Circle is blessed before they begin and is considered sacred ground until the Pow Wow is over. There are rules of etiquette that remind us to be courteous and respectful. Here's one:
Dancers wear regalia. (It is also sometimes called an outfit.) Referring to these beautifully handcrafted and ceremonially adorned items as ‘costumes’ shows disrespect. Often some of the articles comprising it are family heirlooms. Do not intentionally touch any part of it, especially the eagle feathers––they are sacred. If you see a lost eagle feather, do NOT pick it up! Notify the nearest Pow Wow staff member at once.
I love that...the pride and reverence they have in their heritage. And as much as I loved watching the dancers, I was fascinated with the drummers and singers as well.
I don't know why we've never gone to the Pow Wow before, but I want to go next year. It was an awesome place to spend a beautiful fall day.