Ivan Succo: Dancer, Drummer, Designer!

Posted By PowWows.com June 23rd, 2015 Last Updated on: June 23rd, 2015

Dancer, Drummer, Designer Ivan Succo!

Dancer, Drummer, Designer Ivan Succo!

Powwow Plumes!

Powwow Plumes!

Powwows are a powerful part of life for Ivan Succo! A talented Navajo artist, his plumes are prized by some of the greatest dancers in the Powwow Arena. Dancing, Drumming and Designs are all in a day's work for this skillful Dine' artisan!

Ivan Succo...Dine' Artisan!

Ivan Succo…Dine' Artisan!

Interview by Dawn Karima, Native American Culture Editor


DK: Powwows are a way of life for you! We'd love to hear about your background!

IS: Hello everyone! My name is Ivan Succo. It's nice to meet you all. I'm from a smaller community, called Whiterock, New Mexico. I come from the Navajo Nation and I am full blood Dine. I love all Native art.

DK: As a dancer and a singer, what does the Powwow Highway mean to your life?

IS: Powwow has so many different meanings in life. It depends on the person attending. All I know is powwow is a part of my life, like the air I breathe. It heals me like a cleansing. Whatever troubles I have are washed away. I feel good on my way home.

DK: What inspires those good feelings in you? What do you do at a typical powwow?

IS: Sometimes, people need to get away. I see new people and meet old friends. Or I make new memories. I dance men's Northern Traditional. I started dancing as a kid to my teen years, and now onto my adult life. Since day one, I've been a Northern dancer. I also sing with my brothers and sister. We started out as a family drum group.

Beauties by Ivan Succo!

Beauties by Ivan Succo!


DK: Wonderful! Will you share some about your drum group?

IS: The drum group I sing with is called, “Atsa Butte Singers.” Our drum gave us that chance to travel to Canada and other places. We sing for the people and I also dance for the people. Not to win money, but to help heal. To some people, powwow is important because it gives the people a chance to keep the Native Pride going. All the teachings, ans cultures. So many of our children don't know. So to show the people the stories told by the dancers when they dance. The songs we sing also tell stories.


DK: Entering the Circle is a vital aspect of your life! How does your tribal culture influence you?

IS: Everything that has to do with Native Culture. I started out drawing. Also painting. I was never as good as my brothers, so I moved onto other things. Such as, graffiti and sculpting. I'm not sure how I started, but I do remember when I was young, seeing my dad doodling on paper and that was something cool! So now I moved onto what I do now, which is making imitation dance plumes and powwow & NAC fans.

DK: Your fans and plumes are highly prized by some of our Champion Dancers! How do you develop your particular style of featherwork?

IS: I really don't have a style. Everything I make comes from what I feel. Nothing is never the same. Most of the time it's the plume itself, it tells me how it wants to be made.I'm not sure where it comes from, but I do enjoy seeing the finish product! It amazes me!

DK: Dancing, drumming, designing are all part of your unique art! What's the significance of Native art as you create it?

IS: As a Native artist, it means a lot to me. As a Native American, it makes me proud to see Native art. All the different designs, shapes and colors. Native art is bold and strong. Sometimes you can feel what and how the artist felt. It's a proud feeling to me.


DK: Thank you for sharing your powwow journey with us!

IS: Your more than welcome and you can get a hold of me on my Facebook page that is called HCSS Native Designs. You can see my work there! I do make custom orders. There you can place an order from me. I do hope to bless you all with my creation someday. Hookaa and thank you!


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