Joseph Fire Crow Celebrates the Richness of Native Culture With Pow Wow Goers
The 21st Annual Spring Planting Moon Pow Wow did not leave room for any assumptions about the richness of Native culture. The celebration focused on understanding one’s heritage rather than the lure of pure entertainment. They also thanked Mother Earth for their sustenance.
“I’ve always related to nature and Native American culture,” Elaine Reu told the Patriot Ledger. Reu has attended the event for the last six years and learned about it from her sister. She comes to hear the drums and flutes as the hand-drumming circle is one of the major attractions at the pow wow.
Grammy nominated flutist Joseph Fire Crow, who is one of the top three Native flute players in the world, performed on Saturday and Sunday among other musicians and storytellers. Annawon Weeded, emceed the event, and the Iron River Singers were this years’ host drum. The Urban Thunder Singers, the Eastern Medicine Singers, and the Eastern Suns Singers also performed.
Guests purchased jewelry, clothing and crafts from local and national vendors. Fried pastries made from corn and flour were fired up inside a concessions tent, and games, including a accuracy-measuring pinecone toss, were among the entertainment options set up for children, the Patriot Ledger said.
Peter WhiteFox and Lori MoonDream, husband and wife, sold jewelry and crafts at the event, which was held at the Marshfield Fairgrounds in Massachusetts. They also run a non-profit organization.
“What we try to show people is that you can get safe things and recycled things resourcefully,” said WhiteFox. “[Native Americans] use all of the animal. We use all of the tree.”
George Thomas, Pequot, told the paper that the pow wow was about understanding rather than entertaining.
“I think the event is culturally authentic,” Thomas said. “With us sharing our culture, it allows people to see us and our culture rather than assume. Years ago we were looked at as savages; now, with casinos, people think we’re rich. We aren’t rich because of any casino; we’re rich because of our culture.”
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