Traditional Pikwakanagan powwow opens Saturday
Observer file photo One of the dancers dances during the intertribal portion of last year's of Pikwakanagan First Nation Traditional Powwow. For more community photos, please visit our website photo gallery at www.thedailyobserver.ca.
This weekend the people of Pikwakanagan will hold its 26th annual traditional powwow. The theme for this year's powwow is “Honouring Our Children.”
The powwow is about celebrating culture and includes many spiritual elements. Each year it includes drumming, vendors, visiting and a variety of dancing. The most common types of dances for women are the Jingle Dress, Fancy Shawl, Traditional and the Hoop Dance. For men the common dances are Traditional, Grass and Ribbon or Fancy.
Each of these dances at the powwow have their own significance and specific regalia. The regalia is blessed in a traditional ceremony Thursday evening.
“(For the regalia blessing ceremony) the boys bring blueberries and the girls bring strawberries and they each bring about 50 tobacco ties each,” explained Jane Commanda, the powwow co-ordinator.
The traditional pow wow is a gathering of people and their neighbours. And it starts on Thursday with the lighting of the sacred fire at 3 p.m. Then later on in the day, the dancers will get their regalia blessed.
While there are several events happening earlier, the powwow is open to the public on Aug. 17 and 18. The gates open at nine for those who want to come, look around and maybe eat breakfast. Then the grand entry happens at noon.
Admission is free for children 12 and under and $6 for everyone else.
Christina Van Starkenburg is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist.