Intertribal Society hosts annual pow wow
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 00:04
This weekend, the Golden Eagle Intertribal Society held their 10th annual pow wow in The District on campus. The event lasted all day Friday and Saturday and featured Native American people, food and products from all over the South.
Psychology professor Tammy Greer serves as the sponsor for the Intertribal Society.
“We have about 10 students in our organization, and our goal with the pow wow is to bring awareness to the Native American population,” Greer said. “With the event we hoped to bring a greater meaning to diversity.”
The pow wow had members in attendance from a variety of tribes including Houma, Echota Cherokee, Choctaw, Poarch Creek, Eastern Cherokee, Choctaw-Apache, Muscogee Creek and Otobe-Missouria, among many others.
The central activity of the pow wow was dancing, and tribal members and the general public all participated. Many of the dances were broken into categories by age and style, and the Native Americans who participated were dressed in hand-crafted and traditional outfits.
Two drums, a Northern and a Southern, were also at the pow wow and provided beats and songs for the dancers. The drum is made up of four to six members all beating on the same large instrument while chanting. The Northern and Southern drums have differences in the songs they play and the way they constrict their voices to deliver the chant.
Medicine Tail, from Northern Alabama, was the Northern Drum at the pow wow. The Northern Drums have more of a high pitch when they chant and sing. The Southern Drum, Southern Pine, was from the Indian reservation in Philadelphia. They have a deeper tone to their chants. Both the Northern and the Southern drums are present at each pow wow.
Vance “Beaver” is of the Muscogee Creek nation in Broken Arrow, Okla. He currently resides in Paris, Tex., and is a Southern Strait Dancer, which means he competitively dances. He is the head dancer, and he explained that he is the one who starts all the dances.
“No one dances before me,” Vance said in a joking manner. He also said that he travels to a different pow wow every weekend and enjoys getting to educate others on Native American culture.
“It’s really neat to get to see different cultures in the Native American communities and to allow the public to see how we have adapted,” Drew Sigona, a member of the Otobe-Missouria nation, said. “We are now more open to Caucasians participating in our dances and activities, and that is something that has definitely changed over time.” Sigona is a fancy dancer, which is a high energy style of dance where the beats of the drum can change at any time.