A Pow-Wow. August 27, 2012Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.
Tags: beadwork, beeding, buckskin, Charlemont, First Nation, Indian Plaza, indians, leather, Massachusetts
A mile from our house sits a sacred patch of land where both local and visiting Indians dig for their roots. It’s called the Indian Plaza.
And before you get too far along the path of thinking I ought to have said “Native Americans,” I’m going to go with the ‘druthers of the people I’ve talked to at these gatherings and use the umbrella term “Indian.” It describes them all without differentiation, and if there’s anything striking about that it’s that they see their commonality as being greater than their differences. Such is, I assume, the outfall of collective persecution.
Anyway, the Indian Plaza was badly flooded a year ago by Irene, taking on five feet of silt-laden water and looking dead as a doornail when the rive receded.
Well, it didn’t die. After months of hard labor by its faithful people, it opened last weekend with a gathering and dance:
There were perhaps a hundred people present, though I confess to being an unreliable reporter of numbers – calculate in a generous margin of error and I’m good to go.
Four or five drum circles provided, in turn, the rhythm and reason for the dancing:
And dance they did:
They danced in a measured pursuit of their heritages, my heritage, shallowly buried in the clutter of the American Present.
It was hopeful, and it was beautiful:
Lame Bull traded for this bear headdress, and wears it proudly.
Stone Elk makes staffs for walking and dancing:
And everyone danced:
It was good to see, a resurrection of sorts and a celebration of life.
The next gathering will be September 1-2, if you’re in the area.