2017 Seneca Nation pow wow
An explanation of what a Pow Wow is according to the Seneca Pow Wow website: “A Pow Wow is a joyous celebration in which different tribes gather in a social atmosphere. It is an expression of culture and an opportunity for non-Native Americans to learn and celebrate.”
Tribes from all over gather in one place and put on a 3 day festival full of dancing competitions and food. Each age group has their own moment in the spotlight where the best dancers move on to the next round until an ultimate winner is chosen. This competition is extremely friendly and inclusive in nature. Each day starts off with everyone dancing together before the competitions start. At the end of the day spectators, whether they are native or not, are invited to come and dance alongside the competitors.
What stood out most to me was the joy and positivity surrounding the entire 3 day event. I continuously heard bits of wisdom being shared and one particularly stuck in my head: the idea that children actually have more to teach us than we have to teach them. Some of the eldest and wisest tribe members spoke about how children teach adults the most important lessons in life, one of the biggest being patience. This idea seemed central to the Pow Wow. Children were always present and always celebrated. I left this 3 day Pow Wow with an altered look on life and a great respect for the cultural significance of a Pow Wow.