The summer’s powwow circuit builds toward large celebrations such as the Little Shell Powwow at New Town, North Dakota. When we are fortunate to attend my home powwow at Twin Buttes, or the others at Mandaree, White Shield, and Parshall, we know we are seeing the build-up to the Little Shell Powwow.
The Antelope Society plans, organizes, and directs the annual Little Shell Pow Wow, the largest event on the reservation and the second-largest powwow in North Dakota.
It’s an amazing complex assembly of camping, eating, fellowshipping and of course, celebrating. One of my favorite people from my days in New Town, Charlie Moran is one of the upbeat, knowledgeable, and well-spoken MCs. He and Lawrence Baker excel at directing the event to be a well-oiled celebration. You may hear his voice in the video below.
We split up during the Sunday afternoon Grand Entry in which all of the dancers and singers are introduced. Mary shot these images, and I recorded the video. They show singers/drummers performing. During the grand entry, one group of singers at a time performs, moving around the arbor in a clockwise direction. Their songs provide the music for the dancers who come in from the west. As they do, Charlie and Lawrence introduce each group of dancers.
One of the more frustrating travesties of the U.S. Government was the outlawing of powwows in the 1800s until modern times. Washington didn’t understand that powwows were a gathering of families and clans, a celebration; so it tried to wipe out the events. About 50 years ago, public powwows resumed and have grown ever since.
In 2001, the Antelope Society and the Three Affiliated Tribes business council worked to move the sacred powwow grounds from south of Highway 23 to north of Highway 23 on the Four Bears Peninsula. The move allowed the construction of the new, wider Four Bears Bridge.
Read more about the Little Shell Powwow in the New Town News. Click here.
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