thumbnail of Wacipi-Powwow
Hide -
<v Speaker>Powwow is made possible in part by Target stores Dayton's <v Speaker>and Mervyn's through the Dayton Hudson Foundation and by the Corporation <v Speaker>for Public Broadcasting through the Central Educational Network. <v Speaker>A whole walk home took off. <v Speaker>[Speaking and singing in an unidentified Native American language] [music] <v Speaker>A powwow is a celebration of life.
<v Speaker>We all come together as one nation. <v Speaker>And this is where they talk about the circle that we come in. <v Speaker>This is where we meet friends. This is where we make relatives. <v Speaker>[children shouting] <v Ken Merrick>This is where we bring our children to this circle. <v Ken Merrick>They call it the circle of life. <v Ken Merrick>This is where all good things happened. [sounds of talking] <v Interviewer>Do you do lots of powwows during the summer? <v Allen Papakee>Yeah, we've been going every weekend for the past six- six weeks, I think
<v Allen Papakee>it was. <v Interviewer>Really! Why do you do that? <v Allen Papakee>Because they're powwows. [laughter] I mean, we- we don't know <v Allen Papakee>life without powwow. I don't see how you guys can live without ever knowing the powwows. <v Allen Papakee>[music] <v Powwow MC>Again, we ask you to rise if you are able to as we bring in our eagle staffs. <v Speaker>When you look at the grand entry, It's a teaching right there. <v Speaker>You have the flags that come in, the eagle staffs and those represent <v Speaker>nations, families, communities and <v Speaker>then veterans.
<v Powwow MC>We have bringing in our eagle staffs this evening- We have Earnest Wabasha, <v Powwow MC>heriditary chief of the Dakota Nation. <v Speaker>And then we have the elders and then we've got the adults and then <v Speaker>we have the children. <v Speaker>The children have role models all the way down the line. <v Speaker>One of the things I was always taught was when our people when they would go out <v Speaker>raiding or hunting party, stealing horses, or maybe they'd kill a whole bunch <v Speaker>of buffalo or whatever, you know, they're bringing this meat home, well, when you get in <v Speaker>sight of the camp, they would stop. <v Speaker>They would clean up, put on their finest outfit you know, and painted up. <v Speaker>And then they'd come in and show off. <v Speaker>You know, they'd come in and ride around the camp, showing that they were back and were
<v Speaker>ok, you know, showing off what they brought back. <v Speaker>And that's where, uh- it was kind of like a grand entry. <v Speaker>[music] <v Powwow MC>What a beautiful grand entry. <v Mike Hotaine>Without the beat of the drum, which is our heart, we would not have a powwow. <v Mike Hotaine>So it is important that we respect and honor those people that come together to sit <v Mike Hotaine>around the drum and make a circle as it is a sacred circle. <v Mike Hotaine>[music] That <v Mike Hotaine>all of these tribes would bring the heartbeat of their relatives. <v Mike Hotaine>That's what the drum is about. But the drum actually, when it comes, we're looking at <v Mike Hotaine>the families of these men that are sitting around the surgery to beat the
<v Mike Hotaine>drum. If one weakens, the drum will start falling apart. <v Mike Hotaine>So they must also be caring. They must also protect one another. <v Mike Hotaine>They must also support each other. <v Mike Hotaine>So one has a family. Another has a family. <v Mike Hotaine>Those families become relative. <v Mike Hotaine>So it goes on and on like that, right around the circle. <v Mike Hotaine>It never ends. <v Mike Hotaine>[singing] These boys, these men will then go and adopt a friend <v Mike Hotaine>and they become relative and his family become relevant to this family, this whole <v Mike Hotaine>family. So it goes on. <v Mike Hotaine>So the whole nation speaks together, communicates together with the heartbeat <v Mike Hotaine>of each other. <v Mike Hotaine>?inaudible? <v Danny Seaboy>The drumbeat represents the ?inaudible?, they call it, life. <v Danny Seaboy>The first form that takes shape in any person or any living being
<v Danny Seaboy>is the heart. Then after that is the physical so that's second <v Danny Seaboy>and the last is the mentality. <v Danny Seaboy>And today we've lost respect for the heart they call it. <v Danny Seaboy>So this heartbeat represents the drum and your <v Danny Seaboy>heartbeat, the pulse. <v Danny Seaboy>And you put those together- is to rejuvenate - it is to build the spirit <v Danny Seaboy>back up in you. It reaches out to everybody in the whole circle. <v Danny Seaboy>And it'll even take the Eagles. They'll even bring the thunder beings. <v Danny Seaboy>They'll even bring the wind. <v Danny Seaboy>See, that's when you see these things happen, then, you know, you've got <v Danny Seaboy>something very spiritual happening. [music]
<v Speaker>The drum came to the Indian people through a woman. <v Speaker>So that woman is, that spirit is in that drum. <v Speaker>[singing] <v Amos Crooks>Listen to the drum, you know, and it calls you. <v Amos Crooks>And it happens to me lot of times, and I was, oh, I'm so tired, I'm gonna rest. <v Amos Crooks>All of a sudden I hear a good song and a good step on and out I go. <v Amos Crooks>My wife said, I thought you was tired. I said, Drum said, I'm not tired. <v Amos Crooks>[music] <v Mike Hotaine>There's a song everywhere, no matter where you go there is a song. <v Mike Hotaine>And that's what we're told to listen to. <v Mike Hotaine>There are songs in the grass because it is the sacred blanket of Mother Earth in <v Mike Hotaine>the summertime. And there is songs in the winter time when the wind howls through <v Mike Hotaine>windows or doors or wherever the song.
<v Mike Hotaine>There are songs that birds that sing particular songs. <v Mike Hotaine>And there's words in those songs. <v Mike Hotaine>All we have to do is learn to listen to the great songs of Mother Earth. <v Mike Hotaine>[birdsong] God <v Mike Hotaine>gave one of the greatest gifts was to sing together and the beat out that particular <v Mike Hotaine>song is the drum beat itself, which is your heart. <v Mike Hotaine>So your heart is the drumbeat and your songs are the gifts <v Mike Hotaine>of life. <v Ron Davis>When you hear a good song and you're out there dancing, you kind of <v Ron Davis>go to your inner self and where you- where you had your <v Ron Davis>vision. You go back to the place where you feel comfortable, you know, in your own state
<v Ron Davis>of mind and nothing else around you <v Ron Davis>can interrupt that. <v Ron Davis>And that's- when you hear that song and it's so pretty, you know, it's like- sounds <v Ron Davis>like the wind. And you just- and you just dance to <v Ron Davis>that and it feels good. <v Lillian Goodeagle>A real good song it- it- it just comes into you. <v Lillian Goodeagle>It's like in your heart. And it just- your body <v Lillian Goodeagle>starts your feet, your legs, your arms, you know everything just is, um, expressing <v Lillian Goodeagle>that song. [sounds of conversation] <v Speaker>It takes a long time to make an outfit, you know.
<v Speaker>You can go through life and keep adding on to that outfit because <v Speaker>different circumstances that surround different items <v Speaker>that you add to your outfit. <v Buddy Whipple>The breastplate a long time ago, before the coming of the Europeans, it could reflect <v Buddy Whipple>arrows, you know, some spheres. <v Buddy Whipple>And then you would wear a choker which would keep <v Buddy Whipple>you from geting your- your throat cut. <v Powwow MC>We say welcome to each and every one of you, good people. <v Jason Runnels>My dad made this for me. <v Jason Runnels>It was like, um, when a warrior he had, um, a horse that he'd really like to ride and <v Jason Runnels>took him to all of the pony raids and all the war parties, <v Jason Runnels>and that horse got old, and it died and the way <v Jason Runnels>to remember that horse was such a good horse. <v Jason Runnels>He'd carve a stick into that horse and painted him just like that horse. <v Jason Runnels>So you'd always have something to remember him by.
<v Jason Runnels>And he'd carry it with him when he dance. <v Buddy Whipple>Then the mirrors- like if anybody has any bad thoughts about <v Buddy Whipple>you, it's to come in and hit the mirrors and bounce back. <v Buddy Whipple>Like evil spirits, they see themselves and get scared. <v Buddy Whipple>They fly away. [laughter] <v Jason Runnels>This shield I made about three years ago. <v Jason Runnels>It's just like a hoop stretched with rawhide tied <v Jason Runnels>around there and decorated. <v Jason Runnels>I used acrylic paint on that. <v Jason Runnels>The Thunderbird he carries all the thunder and the power from the West <v Jason Runnels>to- to the- the ground. <v Jason Runnels>He's the one that brings the rain, that everything can go again and keep going. <v Jason Runnels>He's the one that means the thunder. The thunder is like real powerful to the Indian <v Jason Runnels>people. So I respected that Thunderbird and the beings of the West.
<v Jason Runnels>I put him on my shield and that shield protects me. <v Jason Runnels>That thunder and lightning protects <v Jason Runnels>me. See how that all ties together. <v Buddy Whipple>When I was younger, I had a lot of hair. I used to just have- had a, uh - had a hair- the <v Buddy Whipple>way I put it on I had a braid on top of my head. <v Buddy Whipple>And then it went through this hole. <v Buddy Whipple>But now I got older, my- my face is getting moving, <v Buddy Whipple>[laughter] so I have to tie it on now with a shoe string. <v Speaker>This piece I hear is very, very traditional. <v Speaker>That's how the old, like going way back to the 1800s, that's how they used to style their <v Speaker>bustles. And I got it given to me by an old elder before he passed away. <v Speaker>He kind've respected me, and <v Speaker>I showed respect back to him by wearing it when I
<v Speaker>dance. The feathers are eagle feathers because it's said that an eagle flys the highest <v Speaker>in the sky, carry our prayers and our thoughts <v Speaker>to ?inaudible,? the Great Spirit. <v Speaker>So that's why we, um, we wear the eagle feathers because they bring us <v Speaker>closer to?inaudbile? when we dance. [music] <v Speaker>This is our oldest dance known to our people. <v Speaker>[music] Long ago, our warriors come back to the camp. <v Speaker>And the way they would let the people know what they had been doing
<v Speaker>while they were away on this hunt or stealing horses, <v Speaker>whatever they were from the enemy. They would come back and then they would in the circle <v Speaker>and the circle in the middle, you would have a fire or something, at night they would <v Speaker>talk. Plus they would act it out and then they would dance <v Speaker>and demonstrate how they would probably stop the game or how they tracked the game. <v Speaker>That's what they did, the traditional dance [music] <v Mike Hotaine>Powwow means that our dancers come together to dance where those that cannot <v Mike Hotaine>dance. <v Mike Hotaine>Dance for the old people and dance for the little children. <v Mike Hotaine>So to dance for them means that it just encourage inside that their tradition is carrying <v Mike Hotaine>on. It's not- It's not going the way of the wind. <v Mike Hotaine>It's still there. So it gives them courage and the strength to be here on their Mother
<v Mike Hotaine>Earth for a little longer, to give that wisdom that we have. <v Dr. Barbara Feezor-Stewart>By 1862, Minnesota had declared itself an Indian <v Dr. Barbara Feezor-Stewart>free state. <v Dr. Barbara Feezor-Stewart>And in 1863, in fact, there was a <v Dr. Barbara Feezor-Stewart>200 dollar bounty on Sioux scalps. <v Dr. Barbara Feezor-Stewart>And those Indians who were here were running <v Dr. Barbara Feezor-Stewart>for their lives. <v Speaker>People would, uh, they would have powows, secret powwows. <v Speaker>They were outlawed for many years. <v Dr. Barbara Feezor-Stewart>Everything was banned. And not just dances. <v Dr. Barbara Feezor-Stewart>But the people themselves were banned. <v Ernest Wabasha>There was no way that they could have completely eliminated powwows. <v Ernest Wabasha>The people just wouldn't let it happen. <v Ernest Wabasha>They got together, and they knew <v Ernest Wabasha>were secret places were. And, uh, they ket
<v Ernest Wabasha>each other know by word of mouth where they were going to be and when, and they would all <v Ernest Wabasha>show up their. It's our culture and our traditions and <v Ernest Wabasha>our spiritual life, our whole way of life. <v Ernest Wabasha>It kept growing that way, kept alive. <v Ernest Wabasha>[music] <v Powwow MC>All our beautiful young women, traditional dancers. <v Speaker>The women danced around the edge of where the men were dancing. <v Speaker>This was mainly in honor of their male relatives that they would do this. <v Speaker>The outfit is very much a part of the judge's <v Speaker>overall picture of a woman's dancing.
<v Speaker>You might see the little bag on the back of her belt and the knife <v Speaker>case with a knife in it. <v Speaker>And an all case, with all in it. <v Speaker>And depending on the style of dress, how is the beadwork applied? <v Speaker>And is it done in a way that looks expert? <v Speaker>This can be geometric design or floral design. <v Speaker>You can tell the difference between an Ojibway or Anishinaabe beaded <v Speaker>flower and a beaded flower of the Dakota woman. <v Speaker>The colors are distinctly different for every <v Speaker>tribe. [music]
<v Speaker>It's a very graceful that there's a great deal of strength <v Speaker>and stamina involved in a woman being able to <v Speaker>dance in a traditional way. <v Powwow MC>We remember the Ogichidaa at this time. <v Speaker>The Indian word is Ogichidaa. <v Speaker>That is sort of translated as soldiers, but <v Speaker>it also means warrior, a protector and helper <v Speaker>of all the people.
<v Speaker>They're the ones that fought to keep this land free, even though <v Speaker>the white man came here and fought the Indian people. <v Speaker>When it came time for war, indians picked up weapons and went to war for this land. <v Speaker>It was always the warrior who was first defending Mother Earth. It was <v Speaker>his duty to be first. <v Ed Godfrey>I think it is a part of traditional values. <v Ed Godfrey>I think it's a part of protecting against any outside <v Ed Godfrey>invasion that would endanger the people who- our <v Ed Godfrey>people who lived here. <v Speaker>Sometime in the future, we believe that we will be back to protect <v Speaker>the environment and everything else.
<v Speaker>Sitting Bull said, you know, we live in two worlds now, we live in the white world, <v Speaker>we live in the Indian world. As you go along in life, learn in the white world what <v Speaker>you can use. What you can't use let it go because, you know, we need that to survive <v Speaker>today. <v Speaker>?Inaudible? people would say just totally awesome. <v Speaker>All right, man tri-star. <v Ron Davis>Trying to get a job in the inner city is kind of rough on any people <v Ron Davis>that come from the reservations. <v Ron Davis>And if- if- if the people that do the hiring and <v Ron Davis>things, if they understand what the Anishinaabe people are about, <v Ron Davis>you know, and that they're really caring people and sharing and <v Ron Davis>very respectful people, then I would think that they would hire them, you know, and <v Ron Davis>they would bring that good feeling to that company or whatever, you know.
<v Speaker>This society is filled with inaccurate images of American <v Speaker>Indians. And the images are easily manipulated. <v Speaker>So being able to show some sort of pride <v Speaker>in our cultures and heritage at a powwow <v Speaker>is very important for mental health. <v Walter LaBatte>All these promises of you- of you getting education and- <v Walter LaBatte>and, you know, everything will be rosy but when you- you find <v Walter LaBatte>out that there's roadblocks- there's roadblocks, and you have to be a very strong person <v Walter LaBatte>to- to break through those roadblocks, that racism. <v Walter LaBatte>And, you know, that goes on. <v Powwow MC>Make yourself comfortable and get yourself an Indian taco and Indian hamburger, an Indian <v Powwow MC>Coffee. <v Walter LaBatte>Being competitive, climbing that corporate ladder or <v Walter LaBatte>climbing whatever or whatever. <v Walter LaBatte>You know, that seems so foreign to
<v Walter LaBatte>many Indian people, you know? <v Walter LaBatte>And I did that, too. I always wanted to be just as competitive as the next person <v Walter LaBatte>and get ahead. That was a challenge. <v Walter LaBatte>But you finally find out that it probably <v Walter LaBatte>broke my spirit, probably. <v Walter LaBatte>So I said, to hell with it. <v Walter LaBatte>You know, they don't want me. <v Walter LaBatte>Well, she just didn't want me. <v Walter LaBatte>I'll come back my way. [music] <v Litefoot>If you were born Indian and you can run away from it all your life. <v Litefoot>But it's still in you. If we have Indian problems and we have Indian questions, we can't <v Litefoot>find Indian answers in mainstream society. <v Litefoot>We have to look to our Indian ways. <v Litefoot>I think that it would have to be reestablishing that walk with the creator. <v Litefoot>I mean, we are a praying people. <v Dr. Barbara Feezor-Stewart>As I sit here and the wind goes by, I realize that that God <v Dr. Barbara Feezor-Stewart>is here. What on Tonchi is here to make this wind blow,
<v Dr. Barbara Feezor-Stewart>to make my mouth move and the sound waves <v Dr. Barbara Feezor-Stewart>that that go. The spirituality of American Indians <v Dr. Barbara Feezor-Stewart>is intertwined in everyday life here. <v Speaker>We're durational people here. <v Speaker>We've tried to hold on to those those good ways because those good <v Speaker>ways helped us survive for thousands and thousands of years. <v Speaker>Our way isn't better. It just works for us. <v Powwow MC>As always, we Indian people <v Powwow MC>give thanks to the great creator. <v Speaker>The Lakota tradition is- you're not measured by the richness by how much you have, <v Speaker>but how much you give away, how much you give. <v Powwow MC>We give thanks to the great creator. <v Ron Davis>I mean, it's- it's- it's- it's such a great feeling to give somebody something and make <v Ron Davis>them= make their tummies full. You know, it's it's beautiful. <v Ron Davis>When they're happy. You're happy.
<v Ed Godfrey>The wealth that a person posses is their <v Ed Godfrey>ability to help others to, to share with <v Ed Godfrey>others, to be of service to. <v Patricia Decora>My son graduated from high school. <v Patricia Decora>To me, that's a- that's an accomplishment. <v Patricia Decora>Kids have a hard time doing that. And you look at statistics within society, <v Patricia Decora>the graduation levels for American Indians are very low. <v Patricia Decora>And so that's a big accomplishment for him as an Indian person. <v Patricia Decora>And I wanted to acknowledge that and say thank you for getting that far with your life. <v Patricia Decora>The day he graduated, when I went to his graduation, I told him that we were going to do <v Patricia Decora>this for him. <v Patricia Decora>I did a lot of sewing and a lot of craftwork <v Patricia Decora>and saved and sacrificed all year to obtain those things.
<v Speaker>On behalf of her son, you know, for her love for her <v Speaker>son. She will sacrifice, and she'd give <v Speaker>so that he would learn this. <v Speaker>And someday when he has a son or daughter, <v Speaker>he will know what to do. <v Powwow MC>And we're gonna place some shawls in the 4 directions, and Charlie is going to dance on <v Powwow MC>these shawls. <v Patricia Decora>We have numerous extended families. <v Patricia Decora>And so with the feeling that I had on the day that he graduated, I wanted to share <v Patricia Decora>that with other people and let them know how happy that I was that that happened. <v Patricia Decora>I laid out 4 shawls in front of him that he dances on. <v Patricia Decora>It's a special gift that goes to somebody else, but also it's an honor for him. <v Speaker>It's so closely associated to the memorials, <v Speaker>to teach, to practice the giving <v Speaker>of rather than receiving.
<v Speaker>If you love someone, you give in there name. <v Phil St. John>My <v Phil St. John>oldest son, Terry, when he was six, seven years old, he'd <v Phil St. John>get off school, play around <v Phil St. John>a bit. We'd carry him out to the car and head out about midnight for Eagle Butte. <v Phil St. John>We'd wake up in the morning at 7:30, 7 o'clock. <v Phil St. John>He comes from almost an all white setting to an all Indian city, to be able to adapt to <v Phil St. John>both, to be able to <v Phil St. John>adjust the world and you see the pride and you see the real pride come up, <v Phil St. John>see the real- where they feel real comfortable being with his own. <v Phil St. John>It's identity. <v Phil St. John>It's a must. It's a must to be able to sing. <v Phil St. John>It's a must to be able to dance and participate in cultural-
<v Phil St. John>cultural events. <v Phil St. John>That's all we have. <v Ed Godfrey>Pezi Wacipi, that's the grass flattening down <v Ed Godfrey>and these warriors were the ones who would move ahead of the encampment. <v Ed Godfrey>And they would select the next stop campsite. <v Ed Godfrey>And when they did that, you know, these grass used to grow quite tall, you know, buffalo <v Ed Godfrey>grass. The- they would pull these grass out and tie them in tufts around <v Ed Godfrey>their knees and around their waist, and their arms, you know. <v Ed Godfrey>And then they would sing that special song. <v Ed Godfrey>Singers would sing that special song.
<v Ed Godfrey>And so they- they would flatten that grassy bank and flatten that grass. <v Ed Godfrey>So that's quite the movements that they have in their dance. <v Ed Godfrey>[music] <v Speaker>I dance as a- as a hunter, trying to sneak through the grass <v Speaker>and emulate grass so that the- so that the <v Speaker>prey does not see me. <v Jonathan Windy Boy>What my uncles told me about grass <v Jonathan Windy Boy>dancing is that it's a celebration. <v Jonathan Windy Boy>Dancing is a celebration of life. <v Jonathan Windy Boy>Dancing for good health and for good fortune is like that. <v Jonathan Windy Boy>When I get out there and dancing, I don't try to
<v Jonathan Windy Boy>think of what I'm going to do. <v Jonathan Windy Boy>I try to focus on what that drum- that beat- the beat of the drum <v Jonathan Windy Boy>and then just go with the flow. <v Jonathan Windy Boy>They, uh, the dance itself. <v Jonathan Windy Boy>You do one thing on one side. <v Jonathan Windy Boy>Same thing you do on the other side. <v Jonathan Windy Boy>Well that's just like this road to life. <v Jonathan Windy Boy>Take this road to life we're walking down. You take a road there and you're walking down. <v Jonathan Windy Boy>If you do something on one side, it's like you take a step on one side <v Jonathan Windy Boy>or you might just- you follow up on the other side <v Jonathan Windy Boy>and try to keep yourself on a road. <v Jonathan Windy Boy>Keep that- you got to keep that balance. <v Jonathan Windy Boy>And that's the same way with this dance and try to keep that balance with- with that, <v Jonathan Windy Boy>what I was telling you, the mind and emotion, the
<v Jonathan Windy Boy>physical, the spirit. <v Ron Davis>And when you're dancing these things that are on in the regalia. <v Ron Davis>They- they bring out a shine, you know. <v Ron Davis>You actually shine out there. <v Ron Davis>When you feel good about yourself, everybody can do that. <v Ron Davis>It's not just it's not just for a Anishinaabe people. <v Ron Davis>It's for everyone. [music] <v Speaker>One day, a long time ago, I used to be the size of this young guy.
<v Speaker>And some day this guy is going to be same size as me. <v Speaker>I'm going to be old one day. I'm going to be gone. <v Speaker>And this guy is going to be taken over. And that's their role that they're going to be <v Speaker>having. <v Speaker>And the way I see it, we in our generation <v Speaker>now, are in a situation where we've got to try to instill a lot of basic values <v Speaker>of our teachings to this younger generation so they can carry on. <v Powwow MC>Take care of your little ones. They're precious. <v Powwow MC>They are a gift to you. <v Powwow MC>Take care of it. Ok, we go to the south and standard drum, for the next intertribal. <v Powwow MC>[Speaking in a Native language]. <v Tania Goodsky>When I was pregnant with him, we went to powwows all over the place. <v Tania Goodsky>And after he was born, when he was a baby, we took him to <v Tania Goodsky>powwows and every time he's heare the music, he would either
<v Tania Goodsky>get wide awake and start kicking around. <v Tania Goodsky>Otherwise, it would put him to sleep.And then about 1, 1.5, <v Tania Goodsky>he started jumping around wanting to go out and dance. <v Tania Goodsky>He wanted to go out and follow his grandpa. <v Harvey Goodsky>It was his decision. We didn't say he had to dance. <v Harvey Goodsky>He just wanted to dance. <v Interviewer>So what do you do when you first come to the powwow site and you pull in to the <v Interviewer>campground? What's the first thing you do? <v Brandon St. John>Oh, I just- I just come on- come <v Brandon St. John>out and play in and try to find my friends and then we'll all play. <v Interviewer>And where are your friends from? <v Brandon St. John>Some- one of them is from Bismarck, Vandery and <v Brandon St. John>I- know everywher but I keep forgetting sometimes. <v Interviewer>So your friends from all over the country.
<v Brandon St. John>Yeah. <v Interviewer>And you see them only at powwows. <v Brandon St. John>Yeah. <v Harvey Goodsky>If you watch your children, you know, you see the adults saying, you know, making new <v Harvey Goodsky>friends and reacquainted with old friends. <v Harvey Goodsky>And it's the same way with these little ones. They have their own little set of friends <v Harvey Goodsky>out there that they see every weekend. <v Harvey Goodsky>So when they go out, they'll dance around. They'll dance on the edge, and they'll look- <v Harvey Goodsky>they'll look around looking for their friends, and they'll see them. <v Harvey Goodsky>And boom, they're gone and all sorts. <v Harvey Goodsky>They have their own little world too. <v Harvey Goodsky>We want both of our children to know where they came from, you know, who <v Harvey Goodsky>they are. <v Interviewer>Harvey, what's your favorite part of a powwow? <v Harvey Goodsky Jr.>When you dance.
<v Christina Gale>I'm Ojibwe, and our traditional dance with women is the Jingle dance. <v Christina Gale>This dress is worn in our ceremonies by the <v Christina Gale>ogichidaakwe. Ogichidaakwe is Warrior Woman and she's a leader in the community <v Christina Gale>and is chosen by the elders to set an example. <v Christina Gale>The way you dance with these is you dance to make the jingles make <v Christina Gale>sounds. So you have to make those gingles dance. <v Christina Gale>Even though they're on the top here, you still have to make them dance. <v Christina Gale>And then the other thing you do is you don't go around in circles. <v Christina Gale>You dance in a zig-zag, you know, because life too isn't always a straight line. <v Christina Gale>You know, you get off the path and you work to get back on. <v Christina Gale>You might get off in another area and you work to get back on. <v Christina Gale>It's more of a shuffle, the way that to dance. <v Christina Gale>Also, when we stop, you know, and raise our fans at a certain time,
<v Christina Gale>we're honoring that drum again. The way that drum is <v Christina Gale>dressed some have little small jingles on them. <v Christina Gale>So the jingles actually come from those ceremonial <v Christina Gale>drums that were given to the Ojibwe people. <v Christina Gale>Shininess has a significance to Indian people. <v Christina Gale>So these snuff- the Copenhagen lids naturally fit in <v Christina Gale>to things that we use. So we started just trimming off a little <v Christina Gale>bit of the edge and using the whole cover now to make this size <v Christina Gale>of a jingle, what you see today. <v Christina Gale>A story was given to me from an elderly woman. <v Christina Gale>Her name was Maggie White. <v Christina Gale>She was from Whitefish Bay, Ontario. <v Christina Gale>When she was a young girl. <v Christina Gale>She got sick and she couldn't walk. <v Christina Gale>And her grandfather had a dream that she- he was to have <v Christina Gale>a jingle dress made. <v Christina Gale>And he was to bring- have his granddaughter brought in in the ceremonial dance
<v Christina Gale>hall and sing her four songs in order for her to get <v Christina Gale>well. So he asked some elderly woman in the community to make this dress. <v Christina Gale>He gave them instruction. They put the dress on his granddaughter. <v Christina Gale>They brought her in the dance hall and the first song. <v Christina Gale>These women had to help her dance around a drum. <v Christina Gale>She could barely walk around the drum in the first song. <v Christina Gale>The second song, they just had to hold on to her a little, and <v Christina Gale>she started to walk. <v Christina Gale>On the third song, they were able to let her go and she could kind <v Christina Gale>of- she could walk pretty good on her own. <v Christina Gale>In the fourth song, she started to dance and was able <v Christina Gale>to make it all on her own and from that day on was able to walk <v Christina Gale>and competed and in Canada and the United States was <v Christina Gale>a champion jingle dress dancer. <v Christina Gale>There are many different stories about the jingle dress.
<v Christina Gale>There are stories from the Lacs. There are stories from Leech Lake. <v Christina Gale>So there's lot of meaning with this dress. <v Christina Gale>People get well from wearing these dresses. <v Mike Hotaine>A powwow is a place where one learns to find <v Mike Hotaine>within themselves who they really are. <v Speaker>This is very sacred circle. <v Speaker>And this is why we don't like to see alcohol and drugs involved <v Speaker>in a powwow. <v Buddy Whipple>I'd go to powwows and I'd feel this. I'd feel it. <v Buddy Whipple>I can't describe it. It's just this feeling I have that I wanted to dance and I wanted
<v Buddy Whipple>to be out there and it made me feel good. <v Buddy Whipple>That's one of the things that's coming back from- from overseas and out of the Marine <v Buddy Whipple>Corps, I really abused alcohol. <v Buddy Whipple>And to me, it was- a weekend was just meant drinking. <v Buddy Whipple>I got off work, went down to the bar, cash my check. <v Buddy Whipple>And of course, I spent half my checked at the bar. <v Buddy Whipple>Then, uh, well going to powows, it was a sober event and <v Buddy Whipple>the more I went to powows, the more I liked it. <v Buddy Whipple>And I let go of the alcohol and drug abuse by going to <v Buddy Whipple>powows. And that's why I've always been- always been real thankful that I found my way <v Buddy Whipple>back. [sounds of jingling]. <v Christina Gale> <v Christina Gale>My namesake told me- He said when Indians drink and drug, they drive <v Christina Gale>their spirits away. <v Christina Gale>You know that spirit doesn't want to be around alcohol and drugs, so it goes away. <v Christina Gale>And that's why people walk around lost. <v Walter LaBatte>And I, uh, well I used to go to powwows- I used to drink
<v Walter LaBatte>and have a good- thought I had a good time. <v Walter LaBatte>But I would see some of those powwow people and see how their life <v Walter LaBatte>had changed true to the traditional way. <v Walter LaBatte>And I used to feel somewhat- I used to feel them <v Walter LaBatte>envious of them because they could enjoy themselves and have a good time. <v Walter LaBatte>You could see them dancing, having fun without having to go that alcohol <v Walter LaBatte>way. Put something in your body to make you feel good. <v Walter LaBatte>And at first, initially, I thought, well, I'll just- I'll just sober up, and <v Walter LaBatte>I'll be satisfied that way. <v Walter LaBatte>[jingling] But there was something lacking. There was something lacking inside. <v Walter LaBatte>That's- sobriety made me- <v Walter LaBatte>made me feel good. But there was something lacking, and I didn't quite know what it was. <v Walter LaBatte>I don't know. Luckily, fell in and found the right way, stumbled and
<v Walter LaBatte>found the right way. <v Ed Godfrey>That the getting high from being out their dancing to a good traditional <v Ed Godfrey>song, you know, that feeling that you have, <v Ed Godfrey>is a true type of feeling that's in the experience for you that isn't <v Ed Godfrey>artificially induced. <v Walter LaBatte>I'm contented. I like this way now, you know, I don't. <v Walter LaBatte>I don't feel a spit person anymore, you know, so. [singing and drumming]
<v Lillian Goodeagle>I was probably seven, eight years old the first time that I'd seen it. <v Lillian Goodeagle>And then I remember these girls came from California, and they were doing this. <v Lillian Goodeagle>And I- and slowly it picked up. <v Lillian Goodeagle>And it is- it's a more contemporary style of dance. <v Lillian Goodeagle>This was probably in the 60s then. [singing] <v Powwow MC>Oh, how about a nice big round of applause, first song, fancy shawl dance. <v Lillian Goodeagle>When I was younger, a lot of places they called it graceful shawl. <v Lillian Goodeagle>You did dainty, smaller steps, more graceful <v Lillian Goodeagle>and closer to the ground, you know, but- but yet you had to be able to <v Lillian Goodeagle>keep up with the men, you know, in time. <v Lillian Goodeagle>You know, as fast as the songs went. [singing] All of my
<v Lillian Goodeagle>moccasins I have- I have these little designs on the foot. <v Lillian Goodeagle>They represent huff's like mine are dear hoofs, because the dear <v Lillian Goodeagle>if you ever see them run and jump over fences, they're just so graceful. <v Lillian Goodeagle>I mean, it's just kind of unbelievable how they- how they look. <v Lillian Goodeagle>It's almost like they're not even touching or they're not tired or they're just, you <v Lillian Goodeagle>know, free floating. <v Lillian Goodeagle>You know, that's when I dance that's what- that I feel really <v Lillian Goodeagle>good like that, and that's the feeling. <v Lillian Goodeagle>Yeah. I guess I want to express, so I was put those or need those on my moccasins. <v Lillian Goodeagle>A real good song I just kind of go off into- I'm not <v Lillian Goodeagle>really thinking about anything, I'm just living that song. <v Lillian Goodeagle>I mean, just out there. <v Lillian Goodeagle>And I don't know it's- it's real strange.
<v Lillian Goodeagle>Well, when I'm in really good shape in these certain songs come like that. <v Lillian Goodeagle>It's like my feet- the toes don't touch the ground. <v Lillian Goodeagle>I don't know how that could- could be, but I can feel it myself, though. <v Lillian Goodeagle>It's like. But the songs are just so- I don't know they just really <v Lillian Goodeagle>do something to me. [singing] <v Powwow MC>Hey, nice, big round of applause for ladies fancy dhawl dancers. <v Powwow MC>?inaudible?rthat was right on. <v Ron Davis>We're all related, you know. We all come from one creator. <v Ron Davis>It's just a matter of getting the- <v Ron Davis>the introductions out of the way, and once you have the introductions out of the way, <v Ron Davis>then your talk comes fluently and you're having a good time. <v Leon Thompson>That's what powwows is all about too, meeitng new people, meeting old friends.
<v Leon Thompson>And, uh, one of the terms they call it snagging. <v Leon Thompson>You know, boy meets girl and stuff like that. They call that snagging. <v Leon Thompson>They say that and, you know, don't be snagging, you know, and let her go or let him go, <v Leon Thompson>you know. <v Powwow MC>Just go out there and <v Powwow MC>meet some friends, shake hands or do a bit of talking. <v Powwow MC>We'll bring you back here in a little while. <v Interviewer>Now, I've also heard a phrase called snagging. <v Interviewer>What does that mean? [laughter] <v Michael Spears>Snagging just means finding a girlfriend at a powwow. <v Interviewer>So it's a place you meet people. <v Michael Spears>Yeah a lot of people from all over. <v Litefoot>Snagging means to- for- for me- for a fella to find <v Litefoot>that beautiful Indian girl and- and see if you can't, <v Litefoot>you know, have a relationship or whatever because, I mean, the powwow circuit goes not <v Litefoot>just from one place, it goes all over. <v Litefoot>So, I mean, you might see that person how many different times in the summer? <v Litefoot>And so, I mean, you kind of- it's kind of like I guess they have summer love and all that
<v Litefoot>kind of stuff. You know, any time somebody, like, hits it off, I guess you call it <v Litefoot>snagging. [laughter] <v Leon Thompson>I know that's how I met my wife on a powwow trail, uh 'You going to be in South <v Leon Thompson>Dakota?' You know, we just met and then, uh, we ended up going to the same school. <v Harvey Goodsky>Nine years ago, we met at a powwow [Tania Goodsky: Mhm], and <v Harvey Goodsky>we just started out as friends. We hung out, hung around together. <v Harvey Goodsky>And that's how we were, was friends. <v Harvey Goodsky>We walked around and talked, and I don't know it just kind of snuck <v Harvey Goodsky>up on me one day, I guess, that's all I can explain it. <v Buddy Whipple>You could not marry someone in your own tribe with your own band, especially in your own <v Buddy Whipple>clan. So what you had to do is you had to go someplace else and get a wife. <v Buddy Whipple>And this is the way you found your wife. <v Buddy Whipple>Someone who was not of your own tribe. <v Ron Davis>When you meet a new- a new person or someone that could <v Ron Davis>could possibly be a companion to you, you know, it feels rather good. <v Ron Davis>You know, and- and it feels like a family. <v Ron Davis>[drumming and singing]
<v Powwow MC>Beautiful dancing, beautiful songs this evening. <v Powwow MC>Sure make me feel proud. <v Leon Thompson>Fancy dancing is probably one of the hardest dances to do in powwows. <v Leon Thompson>You got to keep in shape. You gotta run, practice. It's like <v Leon Thompson>a sport, you can't just go out there and do it. You know, you got to work at it, you <v Leon Thompson>know. <v Leon Thompson>I'm at the age of 32. I'm not really that old, but, you know, I'm getting up there.
<v Leon Thompson>[singing] Well, long time ago, from what I understand, there's traditional, <v Leon Thompson>then there was grass and then there was fancy. <v Leon Thompson>It started down in the south, some based in Oklahoma, some based on there make fancy <v Leon Thompson>dancing. And before is- it first came to us rainbow dancers, <v Leon Thompson>you know and they represent the rainbow. <v Leon Thompson>Traditional dancers they wear stuff for the animals <v Leon Thompson>and represent the animals that they created put on this earth, you know. <v Leon Thompson>So try to pass that on. <v Leon Thompson>The fancy dancers they have two bustles, the top in the bottom. <v Leon Thompson>And some just have plain eagle feathers or plain turkey feathers and some used hackles, <v Leon Thompson>chicken, rooster hackles and they use different colors. <v Leon Thompson>Some use the horse hair like I have and some use ribbons.
<v Leon Thompson>A lot of fancy dancers paint your face. All of the fancy dancers wear the roaches <v Leon Thompson>and they have the different ?dirt? tail colors too- to come with <v Leon Thompson>their outfits, their colors. <v Leon Thompson>Some fancy dancers, you notice, have the rocker that goes back and forth. <v Leon Thompson>I have what they call spinners, you know. That's called a northern style. <v Leon Thompson>And I- I went down to Nebraska a couple two summers ago <v Leon Thompson>and their way had rockers because that's more of a Southern style. <v Leon Thompson>And so my friends are saying and they said, 'Hey, who's this guy with the spinners? <v Leon Thompson>You know, he's got some nerve coming down here, you know.' When it spins because it's- <v Leon Thompson>southern style's fast and rockers and all that. <v Leon Thompson>And I'm more of a northern guy. <v Leon Thompson>That's just the way I am. You know? [singing] Like
<v Leon Thompson>when I dance like a fire, so. <v Leon Thompson>It's like a blazing fire or something when I'm spinning. <v Leon Thompson>When I'm dancing, it's fire [laughter]. <v Leon Thompson>?inaudible? So don't stand too close. [singing and drumming]
<v Mike Hotaine>?inaudible? means come and help each other. <v Mike Hotaine>Come on and let's do it together. <v Mike Hotaine>?inaudible? To give each other strength, give each other words of encouragement, <v Mike Hotaine>gratefulness for you to be here and grace for the- that we met today and talked. <v Mike Hotaine>And that's what the powwow's about. <v Mike Hotaine>It's a celebration of people coming together to share, communicate. <v Mike Hotaine>No matter what part of Mother Earth you are, that part of land is relative. <v Mike Hotaine>And whoever walks on it is your friend, is your ?inaudble? <v Mike Hotaine>That's how we look at it. <v Mike Hotaine>When we come to a celebration of powwow, it's like a bunch of birds coming together <v Mike Hotaine>to communicate, to talk about things, about life. <v Mike Hotaine>It's about a new beginning that they would create for each other, for two <v Mike Hotaine>people. And then they will fly away, you know.
<v Mike Hotaine>And that's exactly what will happen here. We come together this weekend after it's <v Mike Hotaine>finished. We will be going home in our directions. <v Mike Hotaine>And the powwow will be finished, and we will go home feeling a different beginning, a <v Mike Hotaine>different beginning that's happened. [drumming and singing]
Producing Organization
KTCA-TV (Television station : Saint Paul, Minn.)
Twin Cities Public Television
Public Broadcasting Service (U.S.)
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
Twin Cities Public Television (St. Paul, Minnesota)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip-77-1937qsxt).
Program Description
"How can you understand a culture that is not your own? Is it through what people say? Or how they come together to celebrate? Or how they come together to teach their children? Or how they come together to pray? For the American Indian community, all of these things exist in the Powwow, a gathering of community to celebrate the past, present and future of the Indian people. Capturing the swirling dances, the heartbeat of the drum and the experiences of Indian people, this documentary traveled to places non-Indian people rarely go. How does a non-Indian production team understand and communicate the American Indian culture? How to not straighten out the circle? not make it into a linear straight line of mainstream American television, yet how to make the Powwow world accessible to the mainstream audience without compromising the spirit of the participants? "This program was previewed to an Indian audience and was received with great support. Many members of the Indian community talked of finally being able to hear the voices of real Indian people and to see themselves represented in truthful, joyful ways. It shed light on places non-Indian people rarely go, and for these reasons should merit Peabody consideration."--1995 Peabody Awards entry form. People interviewed and featured in this program include Ken Merrick (Devils Lake Sioux Tribe), Allen Papakee (Meskwaki), Mike Hotaine (Sioux Valley Dakota), Danny Seaboy (Sisseton Wahpeton), Amos Crooks (Shakopee Mdewakanton), Ron Davis (Mille Lacs Band Ojibwe), Lillian Goodeagle (Dakota/ Northern Cheyenne), Buddy Whipple (Mdewakanton Dakota), Jason Runnels (Oglala Lakota), Dr. Barbara Feezor-Stewart (Yankton Sioux), Chief Ernest Wabasha (Eastern Dakota), Ed Godfrey (Dakota-Lakota), Litefoot (Cherokee), Walter LaBatte, Jr. (Sisseton Wahpeton/Dakota), Patricia Decora (Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska), Phil St. John (Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota), Jonathan Windy Boy (Chippewa Cree), Tania Goodsky (Mille Lacs Band Ojibwe), Brandon St. John (Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota), Harvey Goodsky (Mille Lacs Band Ojibwe), Harvey Goodsky Jr. (Mille Lacs Band Ojibwe), Christina Gale (White Earth Ojobwe), Michael Spears (Lower Brule Dakota), and Leon Thompson (Yakama Nez Perce).
More than a homage to a great ancestry, the PowWow is an event of contemporary significance for the individuals and communities making up the hundreds of Native American nations.
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Local Communities
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Producer: Wiener, Barbara
Producing Organization: KTCA-TV (Television station : Saint Paul, Minn.)
Producing Organization: Twin Cities Public Television
Producing Organization: Public Broadcasting Service (U.S.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-05261d209d3 (Filename)
Format: U-matic
Duration: 0:57:00
Twin Cities Public Television (KTCA-TV)
Identifier: cpb-aacip-81c56eb062e (Filename)
Format: 1 inch videotape
Generation: Dub
Duration: 00:56:51
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Wacipi-Powwow,” 1995-10-01, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, Twin Cities Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “Wacipi-Powwow.” 1995-10-01. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, Twin Cities Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: Wacipi-Powwow. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, Twin Cities Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from