"Powwow is a journey in itself,
where genetic memories move through our hearts from yesteryear, manifested today, and promising into tomorrow...
in this way it is a continual transformation that captures the immediacy of time...
it is the power of this Spirit that flows through the singers and dancers...
it is why we feel what we feel... it is how we are all related...
Powwow kills lonesome that way...
here, Grandfather comes and stands with us
and Grandmother cradles us and wipes away our tears...
Powwow is victory!
J. C. Eaglesmith
Chebon Tenitkee (Thunder Boy)
Shawnee / Muskokee (Creek)
"The geometric pattern on my outfit is a traditional Blackfeet design. The four directions are depicted throughout the design in shape and color. Red, yellow, black, and white stand for the people of Mother Earth. The shells represent the Coushatta Nation, whose strength comes from the garfish, the sustainer of life. The blue is spiritual. It represents purification from the waters poured on the rocks in the sweat lodge. When I dance, my fringes brush away the bad spirits, so that when my eagle fan is raised high toward the sun, my prayers will reach the Creator for the good of all.
My name was given to me by my adopted father, Percy Bull Child of the Blackfeet Nation. He wrote The Sun Came Down, a history of the Blackfeet as told to him by his grandmother, Catches Last."
Carolyn Running Crane Whitford
Tsa-Koeem-Neema (Catches Last)
“With the support of my parents and family, I have been dancing since I could walk. I dance jingle, which is my father’s tribe’s way. I have also learned about the spiritual dancing in the winter from my mother’s tribe, Lummi.
I met Ben and Linda Marra when I was 4 years old. I have worked with them through photo sessions in my regalia and also as a model. I have enjoyed learning about their world of professional photography. Thank you, Ben and Linda.”
Warm Springs / Samish / Lummi
"My grandfather said that as a dancer, we represent our people, our tribe, when we go out to dance. He said that the parts of the animals and birds we are wearing come alive again when we dance."
"My last name was earned by my great-great-grandfather of Browning, Montana. He was hunting as a young man and came upon a buffalo and wounded the animal. He chased it for many days. The buffalo ran up a rolling hill on the plains, and as it ran, a big golden eagle flew over. Later he came upon the buffalo lying before him with the eagle perched on top of it. He decided that he would take the eagle's life as well as the buffalo's. Our name comes from that moment.
My dancing comes from the Windyboy family of Rocky Boy, Montana. I was told that I began dancing at the time of my first walk. My grandparents taught me a spiritual awareness of the dancing—the feeling of the rhythm, like the rain dancing on mother earth, with no boundaries. The flexibility of the body is a great gift from the Creator. The sound of the drum makes your blood rush; your heart beats like the drum. The sweat runs across your face like a waterfall after the song is silent. Dance and song become one; your existence in the rhythm is like the wind rushing through the air."
Charles “Shadow Walks” Tailfeathers