Writings from the Pow Wow

Thoughts on an Inkshed and the Pow Wow

A note from Rex Veeder to those helping at the Inkshed booth . . .

For some of you, this is your first time at a Pow Wow. What follows are suggestions for thinking about what you are doing at the Pow Wow and how the Inkshed works:

An Inkshed is a written record and reaction to events. An Inkshed is something new at a Pow Wow. What we are doing is offering the opportunity for people to write about the Pow Wow, to react to it, and to post their writing.

There is not a tradition of writing at Pow Wows. There are stories about Pow Wows. There are family conversations.

An Inkshed at a Pow Wow is an invitation to write, to draw, to color, to talk while you are writing and coloring. It is a different kind of story telling. Folks may want to write about the Pow Wow and what they see. They may not want to. It is up to them.

While taking part in the Inkshed, remember the drum and the dance. Remember to listen.

There may be children who want to see what their stories look like on paper. If they want to tell you about something at the Pow Wow, ask them if they want it written down. If they do not, just listen. If they do, write it down and let them sign their Inkshed.

The best thing that can happen is when people begin to respond to other things on the Inkshed paper. Tack up the writings and let people write next to the writings that are already there.

Let people draw. Let people write.

Write yourself. Draw yourself.

Remember that most of what goes on at a Pow Wow was not meant to be written down. What will be written down is something else, some other perspective of what is happening.

There are community, spiritual, and family things happening. Much of what it means to sit at a Pow Wow Inkshed is a matter of listening, appreciating and celebrating. If you write nothing, if no one else writes anything, it is enough to be here.

For those students who are working at the Inkshed table -- Thank You. Remember we are guests at a dance. Let us do things together in a good way.

Writings: Something like "gliphs" or rock writings in the Southwest, the Inkshed walls look like a mass of messages left for those who pass by and linger for a moment. The drawings and writings remind families of loving relationships, tease friends with subtle (or no so subtle) sayings or pictures, and call upon all who look at them to honor the community. They are spiritual markings. They are full of serious longings and humor. Children, parents, and elders all contribute. So it must have been and so it must be when people celebrate and say: "Remember, we have passed this way."

I like to dance

Only the circle

is never-ending

Pow Wow -- The most incredibly beautiful example of art in the world -- as a whole most hours -- most natural use of Mother Earth's gifts and most honorable occasion of today as of Ancient times.

Brothers and sisters (those with two legs) dancing to become one in balance with themselves spiritually -- emotionally -- mentally and physically, they together with the drum and audience become a celebration of life -- with respect to all.

This Pow Wow at St. Cloud is one of the best all around celebrations for in-door Pow Wow. The staff and people are to be honored and commended for their work, flexibility, and accommodating friendly way. Thank you for your efforts.

Creator God has his hands on your work and life and bless you all -- Thank you.

The Face Painter,
Jan Denecks

When the story is told of courage, will someone say your name?

          I am a dance
          a singer
          a drummer
          an Indian
          I am honored
          I am Indian
          I am...Thunder Hawk!

The beat of the drum
          dancers and feathers are one
    summertime pow-wow

The elder
the venders
the drums
Dancers become
what we are
what we will

a dancer every day,
feel like a singer and
maybe someday, I will
Today I am a singer too.

no anger
no pain
we are
whole again.

The Gliphs
are alive
come hear them
warriors of the spirit.

          Everyone remembers the drum
          the circle
          comes to us
          Together we begin
          to sing -- to sing
          is to breathe together
          we walk


16 shades of
black can't be
shown any better
than it is today.
This is my family
and I rejoice
"with" them.

        singers come together now
        drums and hearts are one

Sing the sun
Sing the moon
dance the sun
dance the moon
children growing strong

          someone takes my dreams away
          pointed toward another day
          a dual personality
          no stranger to reality

stop the violence

save the earth or die

love Mother Earth

Thank you for a great dance.
        Three Bear
        Cherokee Nation

sing, celebrate, dance to life

I love Mom and Dad

A girl without freckles is like
a night without stars.

Save the Earth, there is no choice.

          In this nation
          there is singing
          In this nation
          there is dancing
          In this nation
          there is honor
          The movement will bless us
          Come together.

What do I see?

Many voices of many nations coming together. They are drawn by the rhythm, beat and song of the larger human nation. This rhythm calls to us all. Some hear it. Others ignore it. It is a call that we must all hear in order for the world to survive.

This is a call to preserve Mother Earth. A call to save that which bore us. This Pow Wow is a reminder to us of where we come from and where we will be if we do not respect the Earth around us and the other people we live with.

These are voices of identity. They are declaring their identity to everyone so that they may be a part of the whole. They want their voices to join in the song of life. They are the names of the children. They are the freckles that make the beauty of a face like the stars that make the beauty of the night.

This is a celebration of individuals for who they are and the contribution each makes to the nation as a whole. Here there is no need for a person to change their essence in order to be considered good and be accepted. Each person is a celebration in and of themselves. This Pow wow is a coming together of these celebrations. It is a rejoicing of these lives and of life itself.

Each life is to be celebrated whether it has found its identity or is still struggling to find it. The Pow Wow allows each person to explore their identity, to find the rhythm. It allows each person to find a common life, a common rhythm, a common people to link with.

The Pow Wow is a time for healing. The healing of all people. The healing of a wound that has been caused by the actions of all people. This is a healing of those actions which have opened a wound that has covered the essence of humanity with the pain and blood of centuries of people. For some the healing is complete. For others it is just beginning. But the rhythm of the drums draws us together and unites us as one.

Can you feel the Rhythm?

What do you see?

by Rex Veeder and many other voices

Other voices: Rochelle, Amy, Jake, Frybread Girl, Kingbird, Rose Bear, Alisa, Glenda, Edmuh, Maxine, Daniel, Roch, Pinoch, Kenzie, Markiss, Kiana, Lindsay, Lacey, Candy, Mom, Windy, Laitinen, Pete, Melanie, Tabby, Breavd, Brandon, Jesse, Naomi, McKenzie, Tiffany, Annette, Jamilyn, Ashley, Tessa, Jenny, Tala, Nelly, Elfreda, Candele, Natasha, Becca, Krystal, Trevor, Lymaine, The Oski-Bii-Daa-Bin Girls, Jamie, Stone Sky Man, Victoria, Sam, Karen, William, Loren, Ben, Menominee Nation (Keshena, Wi), Anishnabe Nation.

© 1998 Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope Online

Last update: 1 July 1998

URL: http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/kaleidoscope/volume8/powwow.html

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