It starts over dinner with a family of Crow people – eating steak and drinking cowboy coffee over the fire (irony – cowboy coffee made by an Indian). The host is gracious and I tell some funny stories and everyone relaxes because the white guy is okay plus I remembered bug spray 40% deet and we exhausted that can right quick! My friend Clarence ThreeIrons says that if a mosquito bites a Crow man it will die…I guess these mosquitoes did not get the memo.
The children are all anxious and as sun sets grandpa, grandma, son and daughter in law all work together to adorn the children in their elaborate Pow Wow regalia. I politely ask to take a few pictures (not wanting to intrude) and they smile – crazy white guy – now who invited him. My buddy Tristan’s little girl is the first ready and I get a couple wonderful pictures with her next to the Teepee (no all Indians do not still live in Teepees). To quote my friend Dr. Mike Weddle ” She looks so proud and self confident.” – speaking of Tristans daughter! – Eagle feathers, Elk Teeth, and a myriad of beadwork adorn this native child!
Family – I am moved by the sense of family!
The jingle, shing shing shing and beat of drums mixed with chanting from the Pow Wow grounds is overpowering my senses. I let my mind drift as Tristan’s dad gives me an oral history of his families Pow Wow dancing. I see the dancers moving in grace, young and old, love for culture, for being Indian and keeping tradition. He explained face painting and outfits, the Crow Hop and other dances all moving to the drum and chanting. I let myself slip back 100 years to when his great grandfather was dancing at this very same Pow Wow ground and saw the fires, the feasting, the love. I knew I was the only white guy to have this privilege, this honor, to witness this beauty! I only wish my words could convey the intensity of this one evening.