Our second must see event in Rapid City , other than the buffalo roundup, and what we waited two weeks to take in, was the native American Pow Wow or The He Sapa Wacipi.
From th Black Hills Pow Wow Association:
The He Sapa Wacipi is an impressive cultural event held annually at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Hundreds of Native American singers and dancers converge on the Civic Center to compete for thousands of dollars in song and dance competition. It is a public event and features not only Lakota, Dakota and Nakota but also many tribes from as far away as Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, and the northwest, northeast, Canada and even from the southeast. Many tribes are represented in the actual competition. These competitors bring with them their families and friends.
There were four days of events but we attended only Saturday. We could have gone Sunday but we were told it was a repeat of Saturdays program.
You won't find A more colorful event this side of a combined fan dancers and ice skating convention. Every kind of feather, bangle, bead, sequin and spinner hangs from or is stitched to the costumes. I have no doubt the over all design is traditional but the colors, not so much. I don't think the ancestors of modern participants had access to chartreuse and day glow orange and yellow.
The participants fill the arena floor.
Drums and singing accompanied the entrance parade and dancing that followed. There were several drum and vocal groups performing through out the day.
Part of the entrance procession.
There very proud of veterans.
Alone but digging the beat, or has noticed that her moccasins are untied.
Pick a partner and dance.
Dancers start young.
Although elaborate, woman's costumes seemed less flamboyant than the men's.
Non traditional colors.
There's defiantly a difference in dancing style, although a bit subtle for me to pick up on. All the dance groups were judged; winning dancers were awarded prizes. I didn't have an event schedule and didn't know what each dance represented; but watching the performances without knowing their significance was fun anyway.
Dancers came from all over the US and Canada.
These were, what I call, the jingle dancers. The conical jingle bells are commercially available now; they were made from tin tobacco cans in the past.
Strutting there stuff.
Again different styles of dancing.
This little guy in the blue was a bit out of his element. But anyone could join in if they wanted to.
Many of the above images are screen captures from video. The D5000 records HD video and I had never tried it. Because of low light levels, I gave it a go, and I'm pretty happy. Resolution is not the best, but I captured enough of the action to help me remember the Pow Wow.
To late, I learned that I could have taken photographs from the arena floor; I would like to have been closer. Oh well next time I'll know.