Next Saturday Native Americans from across the country will convene in St. Louis for Washington University’s 24th Annual Pow Wow. Coordinated by the Buder Center for American Indian Studies, the Pow Wow is an opportunity for Native Americans to celebrate and share their heritage.
“Everyone is welcomed,” said Pow Wow co-chair Wynette Whitegoat. “It is mostly just to honor the history, the culture, of all Native peoples. And for those who have never been to a Pow Wow, it’s a great way to embrace the history of our people.”
That’s especially important for Native Americans who live in cities like St. Louis, said Buder Center program manager Pete Coser.
“Because our St. Louis Native community lives in the inner city, they don’t get to express where they’re from as much,” he said. “This also provides a day for them to be Indian in an urban setting.”
The Pow Wow will have two Grand Entrance ceremonies, recessionals honoring veterans, and a variety of dance competitions. Vendors will also be selling Native American art and crafts. A lot of the formal structure and competitions are influenced by Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, said Coser. But the dances themselves originated from the songs and celebrations of specific tribes.
Coser is from the Muscogee Creek Nation in east central Oklahoma. “I’m also Choctaw and Chickasaw. If I didn’t say that side my mom would get after me. I always have to say Choctaw and Chickasaw or I’ll hear it next week when they visit,” he said.
“I grew up in a small town called Pine Springs Arizona. If you try to Google Map it, you probably won’t find it. But I also represent another community on the [Navajo] reservation, Fort Defiance, Arizona. It’s beautiful land. I grew up in a beautiful culture. I love where I come from and I’m very passionate about sharing that with others,” said Whitegoat.
Washington University's Buder Center for American Indian Studies Presents the 24th Annual Pow Wow "“Education: Balance in All We Learn"
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Doors open at 10:00 a.m.
Grand Entry at 12:00 Noon and 6:00 p.m.
Washington University Field House
For more information, call 314-935-4677 or visit the Washington University website.
Cityscape is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer, hosted by Steve Potter and funded in part by the the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis, the Regional Arts Commission and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.