The sacred circle was set up in the middle of a grassy area, in the center was an open sided tent made with logs and branches. The branches supporting the roof met in the center and continued up into the air, attached to each was a streamer, they looked peaceful as they gently blew in the breeze. Around the perimeter of the pow wow were about two dozen traders, most booths sold similar items, lots of dream catchers, beaded jewelry, animal skins, animal skulls, turquoise jewelry, hair accessories just to name a few. Prices started at a dollar for little beaded bracelets, a few dollars for simple toys, I purchased flutes for $3 each for Henry and Patrick and Emily found a bracelet for $2. There were a couple of food vendors selling buffalo burgers and fry bread, we tried the buffalo burgers, they were not bad.
Shortly after we arrived the Grand Entrance began, there were many dancers dressed in costume, some looked authentic, others did not, but all were very colorful. The dancers walked around the sacred circle in a kind of two step with one foot then two steps with other foot kind of walk while drums beat out a rhythm, it was very calming. There was an opening prayer, and then a talk. I enjoyed the talk and two comments stuck with me, one, the Creator makes nothing evil it is man who messes things up, and two, as human beings we are all perfectly flawed.
I was surprised that the Grand Entrance was almost entirely a tribute to veterans, the military branches, and police, firemen and all first responders. There was a flag ceremony and flags were individually placed in the sacred circle for the Miami People, the US and Canadian Flags, a flag for each military branch, and the final flag, walked around the circle before being placed, was for the POW MIA. A prayer was then said for all veterans, and then all military active and retired were asked to enter the sacred circle, the dancers then reentered and walked around and shook hands and thanked all of the veterans. I had not expected any of this and found it to be a very touching and thoughtful tribute to all of those who have sacrificed to serve our country. Here are a couple of pictures from the POW WOW.
|This lady had made her dress out of Elk skin and then hand sewed all of the beading, it was a truly beautiful dress. And you see the boys were really into their flutes. (Patrick has his upside down!)|
|Detail on some of the beading.|
|The back of an elaborate costume of one of the dancers in the sacred circle.|
|Another dress made out of animal skin and beautifully decorated with beads.|
|Two birthday cakes, they always want chocolate cake with chocolate frosting , covered in M & M's and served with chocolate ice cream.|
|The annual battle of the candles, who can blow them all out in one puff!|
|Dave blew 53 out with one puff but the 54th candle got him.|
|Little Charlie was amused by all of the goings on at the birthday party.|