December 4, 2021
Grace and Skye went to Redbird's blanket drive and mini powwow. They got there early enough to see it slowly unfold. It seemed a bit like a family reunion. Then the sound of bells on the dancers and the activity level began to intensify. There were a number of drums.* When they were ready, a singer came from one of the drums** and spoke about what would happen next. Special songs would be sung for certain reasons and then the dancers would come out.
The songs began. The dancers came out. They danced in different ways but the drum orchestrated their steps. The drums...they were the center of it. The sound had a reach beyond one's ears. The sound got inside of you somehow. It seemed there were different styles of dance for different songs, and everyone knew them. Women danced some dances and men danced others.
There were a lot of children dancing, and they were showered with encouragement. Grace often noted that some of the adults - particularly the men wearing what she presumed were eagle feathers - would stand when others were dancing...even the young children.
Skye went out for the last round of intertribal songs. Just to see what it felt like.
And finally, they got to hang out with the (virtual) Kat Warren, UCR Powwow Princess...they just didn't have any scissors handy to free her from her background.
The gathering was only a few hours...four or so...but the girls really tied to lean all that they could and take it all in. And as a result, they were exhausted.
"I'm just going to get under the covers for a few minutes, to warm up" Skye said.
It was late by the time the girls got home. Their room was cold and even though they'd spent most of the day just taking in the sights and sounds, they were tired.
*Blue Star, Bear Springs and Hale and Company joined us as well as the calderon family as vendors, and Carla Tourville and Chuck Cadotte of Soaring Eagle Enterprises, as vendors. It was Redbird's 26th mini powwow and blanket drive and one of the first local, family powwows to happen since Covid.
**Ben Hale of the Hale and Company drum served as our MC. everything about the blanket drive is done by volunteers. As we did not have a formal grand entry (head man, head woman, flags, etc) the way the drums chose to orchestrate the gathering was to sing the honoring songs while the dancers stood and then, when those honoring songs had been observed, all the dancers came in together.
The blanket drive was our most successful ever. It took weeks to ship all of the donations we received.