No rest for the wicked

Man, have I been swamped recently! Between classes, the upcoming concert, committee work, etc., sleep has often been way too optional, and my on-line life has really been weak. Sorry.

One of the more pleasant distractions, however, was Saturday’s Powwow. The Circle of Nations Indian Association (CNIA) student group on campus hosts a powwow every year that draws people from all over the region and is a really excellent event.

This year I was honored by a request from CNIA to "officially" take photographs of the event, apparently something no one had ever done in all the years we’ve had the event here. I took something like 1,600 shots in 11 hours on Saturday, and it’s gonna be a while before I get through them all. I also need to be careful about what I post publicly, so some of the best ones may not ever show up here.

It was enormously cool, and I’m really grateful that I was invited to be part of the event like this.

Here we have one of the drums covered with a blanket. The drumming groups are arranged around the edge of the dance area, and play in turn in a circle. There are enough groups (something like a dozen this year) that groups can take time to dance, socialize, eat, etc., between times.

There’s so much I’d like to say about the powwow, but no time now. Later? We’ll see.

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3 Responses to No rest for the wicked

  1. CoryQ says:

    I always liked watching this event when I was a student but it did raise some strange feelings in me. I felt a sort of primal urge to partake in the dancing, some thing very basic and spiritual goes on at this gathering that appeals to the human spirit no matter your background. At the same time, I very much felt like an outsider. There was no one barring me from getting closer to the action, but it just didn’t feel right. It was a moment when I was very aware of my culture and just how high the wall of cultural assumptions that surrounds a group can be, even when it is invisible in day to day life. I’m glad someone was around to document this event!

  2. imago says:

    You certainly are busy, and all the things you do sound rewarding. I’m glad they asked you to do this. You must have quite a name locally for your photography! I hope you thrive on it all. It would exhaust me! I always enjoy your flickr uploads even if I don’t comment much these days. I always THINK a comment…which is no use at all for keeping in touch :-)

  3. Phi says:

    CoryQ:
    I share your response. It’s very hard for me to now “air drum”, and I also want to sing. But it is very foreign and I definitely never felt like I was “part of the crowd”. They were really nice about it, but I still felt somewhat intrusive.

    imago:
    Definitely busy but, as you say, definitely rewarding :-). It does, however, exhaust me, and there are days when I wish I said “no” more often (to myself as well as to others)!

    As far as the local name goes, I think there are lots of people (likely most people) around here who don’t have a clue. There are a few that do, mostly through my work on fund raising calendars at the PRCA (local arts organization and gallery). I think most are quite unaware, however, and I think that very few know anything about Flickr or my photos there. Which is fine because I have wonderful people like you and Cory!

    I keep meaning to put together some framed prints to have for sale PRCA, but never find the time.

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