22nd Annual Harvest Pow Wow-September 24 & 25, 2016
A wonderful celebratory mood enveloped the 22nd Annual Midwest SOARRING Foundation Harvest Pow Wow the weekend of Sept. 24 & 25th, at the Naper Settlement.
During the Grand Entry processions proud Native American dancers from many Midwestern tribes filed into the arena, led by veterans carrying flags. Throughout the weekend these dancers entertained the public in their colorful regalia and dance styles. Scout troops, families, couples and friends of all nationalities savored the entertaining, educational, and family friendly event.
Over thirty five vendor booths with Native themed arts & crafts filled the settlement grounds providing visitors ample shopping opportunities. Vendors sold jewelry and handcrafts from the Southwest and indigenous Mexico, skillfully made wooden Native flutes, indigenous herbal remedies, and sweaters and bags from the high Andes mountains.
Attendees had the opportunity to learn about several non-profit organizations with booths at the Pow Wow which included the CANA Foundation, S.O.A.R. (Save Our American Raptors), and veteran’s services. Many waited in lines to taste the popular Indian Tacos made with fry bread as well as grilled bison burgers, and sample an assortment of other tasty offerings.
Families and friends rested in the shade with lawn chairs while the arena was filled with the brilliantly dressed Native American dancers, moving to the beat of the
drums. Dance demonstrations highlighting the different Native American dance styles were held throughout the day. Other Harvest Pow Wow highlights included two dramatic drumming and dance performances by the Aztec Dancers. Special guest Native American celebrity Moses Brings Plenty mingled with the crowd, signed autographs and was available for photo shoots and discussions about CANA with pow wow goers.
During the dinner break Moses spoke to the arena audience about the efforts of the CANA Foundation, a non-profit organization with “re-wilding” as it’s reason for being, where wild horse herds as family groups are relocated on to Native American reservations.
He also described the Native American protest against the Dakota Pipeline at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. Later, a blanket dance and offering was collected as a donation to the Standing Rock Sioux. Over $1,000 was collected. Midwest SOARRING also sold a number of NO DAPL t-shirts at the pow wow.
Popular activities at the children’s area included flintknapping (making an arrowhead), art projects (beading, sandpainting) and decorating a horse shoe created by a blacksmith. Many families enjoyed visiting and taking photos by the Midwest SOARRING tipi. An all time favorite was petting and observing the live mustang horse, painted in true Native style next to the CANA booth.
Later, in the arena hoop dancer Randy Preston thrilled the packed arena with his athletic and artistic moves. He created animal shapes from six or more large hoops dancing all the while. Audience favorites, talented musicians Al Jourdan sang and played guitar, and Al Jewer played Native Flute.
The joyful pow wow atmosphere was contagious, as the number of dancers and crowd numbers continue to be attracted to the Native American cultural event. Next year’s Harvest Pow Wow is scheduled for September 23 & 24th, 2017 and promises to bring more cultural education and entertainment to Naperville, Illinois.
America’s first people and Native American culture is alive and vibrant in the Midwest.