SAGUACHE — The annual Saguache Pow Wow, a traditional intertribal event, will be held Saturday at Otto Mears Park in Saguache beginning at 9 a.m. Grand entry is at 11 a.m.
The Chery Creek Lakota and Forest Lake Navajo singers will perform on the drums and also the Cozad Lakota. LongSoldier (Lakota) will emcee the event this year.
The potluck honor meal for the elders will immediately follow the pow wow at the Saguache Community Center. The pow wow committee will provide the main dish.
For more information, contact Crowfox at 719-588-3390. Vendors wishing to set up booths at the event can contact Ruth at 719-580-5946.
History and explanation of terms
Traditional pow wows are those in which there is no competition dancing or drumming. These pow wows tend to offer more variety of dances for dancers and participants, as time is not taken up by contests.
Traditional pow wows sometimes offer “fun” contests such as a two-step, crow hopper, fastest snagger, best Indian car or other humorous events. Some communities who host traditional pow wows choose to offer all dancers and drummers small honorariums to assist with travel expenses in lieu of contest prizes.
In the Native American culture, honor and prestige are not heaped on the person who accumulates material goods selfishly. The greatest respect is given to those who give away their personal wealth. This is what the Give-Away ceremony is about.
It might be done to announce the changes in some individual’s personal status or more commonly, in honor of a friend or relative. In either case, it is not the value of the gift that is important. What is important is the gesture; it illustrates a lack of selfishness in the giver, and the giving of the gifts has the effect of strengthening and unifying bonds among the community.
The person who receives a gift is as honored as the person who gives the gift. The Give-Away is a fitting climax for pow wow. It caps a community celebration with a present of friendship, unselfishness, and goodwill that will never be forgotten.
Elders have spent time educating the youth of Saguache County in drumming, songs and traditions of the Native American people.
A friendly atmosphere for guests is an important value to Native People and is a reflection of goodwill and generosity of the sponsoring community. Visitors that have felt welcomed and had a great experience at the pow wow often will return for the next year’s gathering.
Former Saguache Recreation Board Chairman Caroline Wolfgramm Irwin contributed to this article.