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Most Memorable Pow Wow Moments

Most Memorable Pow Wow Moments

Posted By Paul G September 30th, 2021 Last Updated on: September 30th, 2021

Finally, I was able to attend my first Pow Wow in 2 years.

With my trip, I have been reflecting on some of my best memories of Pow Wows, and I wanted to share them with you. I've been blessed, thanks to you, to have great experiences.  From a Pow Wow Cruise to dancing in Hawaii, I have enjoyed some amazing times at Pow Wows!

What are your favorite Pow Wow moments?

Listen to the latest episode of the Pow Wow Life podcast to hear mine!



LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW NOW

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Transcript

Speaker 1:
Welcome to Powwow Life Podcast from powwows.com. Connecting you with Native culture since 1996. Here's your host, Paul Gowder.

Paul Gowder:
Hello and welcome back to another episode of the Powwow Life Podcast. I'm Paul Gowder from powwows.com. Thank you for being with me again.



Paul Gowder:
I just got back from my first trip in two years to a powwow. I landed late last night, still recovering, but I am back and so excited that I was able to get out there. I went to the Morongo Powwow out in Cabazon, California, near Palm Springs. And it was actually the last powwow I went to in 2019, in September, right before … Just a few months later, things got crazy. So I was excited to be back there, see some old friends, hear the drum again, see a grand entry in person. Oh, such a great weekend.

Paul Gowder:
So in today's episode, I want to go over some of my most memorable powwow moments from the last 25 years of powwows.com. Because I was just so excited to be back at a powwow so I want to share some of those moments with you. And hey, I want to hear from you. What are some of your most memorable moments? What kind of things have you really enjoyed at powwows or things that you just talk about as a family and you always remember? Love to hear from you. So let me know over at [email protected]

Paul Gowder:
All right, just a couple of announcements before I get to that, don't forget, at the end of the show, I will ask you a treaty question for this week and you will win a prize pack from the powwow shop. Some of our stickers, maybe a t-shirt, who knows? It will always be a surprise each week for the winners. But head on over to powwowlife.com to enter into the trivia contest and I'll give you that question at the end of the show.

Paul Gowder:
Also at the end of the show, I will give you a bonus code for this week's entry into the powwow anniversary giveaway. We're giving away 25 Pendleton blankets next week to celebrate 25 years of powwows.com. So you only have a few days left to enter, so make sure you listen for that bonus code to get extra entries into that contest.

Paul Gowder:
And for all of you listening out there on Facebook, there have been thousands of you downloading our podcast on Facebook and thank you so much for doing that. Don't forget though, if you're over on Facebook and listening, they change these things all the time so you may not see the next episode on Facebook. So please go over to Apple iTunes. Their podcast player or Spotify or Stitcher or one of the other podcast players and subscribe to make sure you don't miss an upcoming episode. Don't depend on Facebook showing it to you, please go and subscribe so you don't miss a thing.

Paul Gowder:
Okay, a couple other links for you. If you are new to powwows or if you haven't been in a while because everything got crazy and you want to catch up on what's going on with powwows, I got a special page for you over at www.powwows.com/powwow101. That will get you into an email list that I've created where I'm going to send you … I think it's six or seven emails that'll really tell you what all the dancing is, the singing, how to find powwows near you, and really just all of the etiquette and information behind powwow. So if you're new, go check that out. It would be great to get you caught up and ready for your first powwow.

Paul Gowder:
And with powwows coming back, I hope you do find one near you. Don't forget to go over to our calendar, we're adding entries every day, editing and updating. Wwww.powwows.com/calendar. We have listings for every state in the US and almost every Canadian province has a powwow going on.



Paul Gowder:
All right. I think that's enough from me. I'll have some other information for you after the talk here about the most memorable moments. Keep in mind, I do record these episodes live on Facebook and YouTube every Thursday night at 9 o'clock. So if you want to come over and participate live and interact and ask questions or leave comments while I'm recording, that'd be great. I'd love to see you there. If not, if you want to continue listening to it as a podcast because you're on the road or you need to listen to it another time, that's cool too. I just appreciate you being a part of the Powwow Nation community. So thanks very much and I hope you enjoy my most memorable powwow moments.

Paul Gowder:
What I want to talk about tonight is some of my most memorable moments from powwows. And I don't have these in any particular order. I was just writing them down today as I was kind of thinking of them and I was texting with my wife saying, “Are there moments that you remember? What have we done over these 25 years of powwows.com?” And I'm very thankful because of you out there, we've been able to do some amazing things. We've traveled all over the country and it's been amazing. So I'm very, very blessed to get to do that.

Paul Gowder:
So I'll start that off and say, because of you, and getting to travel to great places, here is one of our most memorable moments. This is my wife and I dancing at a powwow, Instagram here, let me move here so you can see it. If anybody's been in this powwow, I'd love to hear. That's us dancing on Honolulu in Hawaii. It was awesome. We went out there for our anniversary. A couple of these memories in here, actually, for our anniversaries.

Paul Gowder:
But we went out there and that didn't take all of my dance clothes but I had a friend that was living out there. We stayed with him and he had some of his stuff there so I borrowed his robes and some other stuff. But that's my ribbon work and everything on. So we were able to go out there and dance a powwow in downtown Honolulu. It was amazing. They even had me judge a few contests, got to talk to some of the dancers out there and some of the singers. It was really, really fun. Totally unique moment, something you just don't ever think … Most people don't even know there's powwows on there. I think there's actually three powwows that go on throughout the year right there in Hawaii. There's one on another island, I think a couple on Oahu. So totally awesome.

Paul Gowder:
And one of the weird things about having powwows in downtown Honolulu is there's actually a noise ordinance in the downtown area. So the powwow ended at 6 o'clock. It was interesting. Oh it was just getting going and they were like, no, that's it. We can't have noise. So that was really kind of interesting. That was one of them. All right, that's my first one.

Paul Gowder:
And again, these aren't in any order but these are some as I thought of them. All right, here's another one. Definitely one of the most memorable things we did was in … I think it was 2004. A lot of stuff happened in 2004 in this list. We went to our first gathering of nations. Everybody always hears about gathering. If you didn't, if you've never been before, Roxy says, “Didn't know there was powwow.” I know. Most people don't know that there are powwows in Hawaii but there are and they're really good. Before I finish the Hawaii theme. So Hawaii has a Military base of every branch on the island. So there is a large concentration of native people right there. And so that's some of the people they get to put on the powwows and of course there are several people living on the islands, too. And they fly in some drums from California or Washington State, I believe, to help them out.

Paul Gowder:
But yeah, 2004. My wife and I got to go to our first gathering of nations. And I remember it because she was pregnant with our daughter. And it was at the pit and if you've ever been to the pit, you know you come in at the top and you have to go down. And it's up and down those stairs. You don't get to come in halfway like at other arenas and go either up or down. But you come in at the top and it's all the way down which is why they call it the pit. So we went to our first gathering of nations and I'll tell you, one of my most favorite memories of all time is getting to see my first grand entry at gathering of nations. It's one of those things I tell everybody it should be on your bucket list. If you haven't been before, it is worth going just to watch one grand entry. Amazing. To see 2500 or sometimes 3500 dancers all in there together, dozens of drums, it is an amazing, amazing site. So definitely, that has been one of most … Things that stuck in my mind all these 25 years. That was incredible.

Paul Gowder:
And at that same powwow, funny thing you know, in 2004 powwows.com was doing well but we don't have the following that we do now, thanks to social media. But we were doing well and … We're coming home, getting into the airport, I'm working on posting information on our forums and on the website about who won and what all happened at gathering. And we didn't make it. Like I said, my wife was pregnant. So we didn't make it all the way to the end. Again, if you've ever been to gathering, you know that the awards don't happen until late, sometimes like four or five in the morning. And we didn't make it that long. So I was trying to find out who won the drum contest so I could post it for all you people out there on powwows.com. And we're standing in line checking into our flight, and I see some people that obviously are powwow people that looked like they had been there for the powwow, too. So I'm, “Hey guys, do y'all know who won the drum contest? I'm trying to find out.” And they're like, “No, we left early too. You know what, just hop on powwows.com when you get home. They'll have it.” Like really cool, I'm glad you think so but yeah, that's what we're trying to do. So that was kind of fun, too. That was a fun way to end that trip.

Paul Gowder:
All right. So Roxy says, “Bucket list, Hawaii.” For sure, put it on the list. Hey, it's an excuse to get out there. I think the one we went to is in October. They do have some other ones. Plug for the calendar, head over to www.powwows.com/Hawaii and there you go. You'll get right to all the powwows right there.

Paul Gowder:
All right. Let me look at my list here. Other memorable moments. So another one. This one is a really special one to me, too. Well here's this one. You know I don't … What year was this? This was 2002. This was the first, and here's a picture again. This was the first time my wife and I were asked to be headman and head lady dancer at a powwow so that was really cool, Instagram, let me turn you so you can see the picture. It's small but there you go. There we are back in 2002. Look how young and naïve we were. That was even before we had Brooke. But yeah, that was a great honor to be able to serve as head dancers at a powwow. And we've done it several other times since then, but that was the first time we had been able to do that so that was really cool.

Paul Gowder:
Misty says that one time she went to gathering, Robert [Mirabel [00:10:49] was there. Yeah, that would be a great one. And so again, if you go onto gathering, one of the things is they put on some amazing performances outside at stage 49 but also they always have a couple feature acts that perform before grand entries. There have been some fantastic performances. Roxy asked, have I ever been to Denver? No. A few years ago, we were actually booked to go to Denver. We had a very small window because of work and some other things going on. We were all booked and ready to go and literally six or eight hours before our flight, everything got bumped and moved back twelve hours which completely destroyed our window. We weren't going to be able to really make it and get to the powwow and get back home to do what we need to do. So my one time that I was booked to go to Denver, it didn't work out. We had to cancel. But that is on my bucket list.

Paul Gowder:
Okay. And here's the other picture I had. So this was … What year was this? This was 2005. So my daughter was just barely one. She was born in 2004. And so here's a picture, again, one of my most favorite memories. This is us bringing my daughter into the arena for the first time. And that was really cool to be able to get to do that and to bring her in. A friend of mine made the skirt for my daughter and my wife that were matching. It was really awesome [inaudible [00:12:18] behind this in a roach there. Really cool and we were able to … My parents were able to come. My wife's mother was able to come. And they don't get to a lot of powwows. So it was really cool to be able to have the whole family there in the arena together and to be able to honor some friends that had helped us out over the years. So that was … That's probably one of my top moments ever. That one was awesome.

Paul Gowder:
All right, flip back. Here we go. All right. What else on my list? Sorry, let me flip back here. Okay. Here's another one. Again, back to 2004. 2004 is a big year. Year my daughter was born and year we did some really crazy things. So in April, we had gone to our first gathering of nations. And sometime after that, I got a call from the [inaudible [00:13:15] family and they were … They were active on the powwows.com forums. Back then we didn't have Facebook or any of that. We had our forums. And she asked me if I had ever live streamed a powwow. No, never heard of it. I don't even know … Can you do that? And she's like … She was really involved in the rodeo scene out there in Oklahoma, and she's like we do it for rodeos. People do it. So she's like, I'm helping out with Red Earth this year, you think you can stream Red Earth? I had no idea. But I will look into it and try to figure this out.

Paul Gowder:
So I did. Figured out the technology and how we could do this and that was the first … Red Earth, 2004. It was the first time we ever live streamed a powwow. And now, we livestream 10 or 15 a year, non-COVID. So it's thanks to the [inaudible [00:14:07] family, that is a major thing that powwows.com does now. So it was really awesome. That was the first time.

Paul Gowder:
But that wasn't the only cool thing that happened that powwow. For me, going to Red Earth will always be one of the highlights my time going to powwows. Because when I was learning dance and people were teaching me how to sing and do all that, and here in South Carolina, we don't have huge powwows here. But we had VHS tapes and a lot of them were from Red Earth. And so I spent years watching dancers like Abe Conklin and these other folks dancing at Red Earth and trying to study their moves and figure out how to do all this. And so that was really cool that I was able to finally get out there to Red Earth.

Paul Gowder:
And it works out really weird. Again, one of these things I had a small window. So because I wasn't planning on going to Red Earth, I had already agreed to be in a friend's wedding on Saturday in South Carolina. So I told them, I was like, “Look, I can come but I can only come for Friday and I've got to fly back first thing Saturday morning.” I said, “Do you want me to fly all the way out there to stream one day of the powwow?” And they're like, yes, for sure. You got to do this. I'm like, okay. All right, well I can do that but it's going to be tough, it's going to be tight. So I flew from South Carolina, flew in Friday morning. We streamed all Friday afternoon. Their powwow starts, I don't know if it still does, but it started early on Friday. They danced all day. It's really incredible to finally get to do that and see the powwow out there and go to a big Oklahoma powwow and stream it.

Paul Gowder:
Well that night, they didn't have a powwow session. They actually had a concert. I think a rock bank, Indigenous, I think their name was, was performing. And they had to convert the arena over to a concert venue. And we kept streaming. I don't know if any of you out there were around in 2004 and watched this. But I know some of the folks on the forums still remember this. We streamed for two hours, a group of crew there at the arena setting up chairs. You know they had to set up like 5000 chairs. That's what we streamed for two hours. And we had the most fun in the chat rooms and talking on the forums and everybody … It was really kind of one of the big community moments for us and it was super fun.

Paul Gowder:
To [inaudible [00:16:27], thank you. I appreciate the support there on Instagram. Thank you.

Paul Gowder:
That was one of those things, it was totally unrelated to really why we were there but it was just a moment that everybody there on the livestream really had a good time and came together. And again, powwows.com is all about our community so thank you. That was one of those great moments where you get to see the community in action.

Paul Gowder:
And then I go to fly home. So I had to be up, because I was catching a 6 o'clock flight. So I had to be up at 4 o'clock in the morning to catch a ride to the airport and to get back and to make it for this wedding I had to be in that afternoon in South Carolina. Well as I'm leaving the hotel, I had rushed back and gotten a few hours of sleep. Not everybody at the powwow had done that. And I found one of those folks who had been enjoying too much of a good time Friday night sitting outside with two of Oklahoma's finest with him. And so it was with one of the drum groups and he had run into a little trouble. And so went over to them and tried to give him the business card of some of the people with the powwows. Like here, man. When he gets his one call, here's who he needs to call. And they were not real happy with me trying to talk to him. Go, hey look, man, just giving him a phone number. But that was … No, I'm not going to say which drum group it was. But that was kind of funny that he had had more of a good time than I did that night.

Paul Gowder:
Morongo coming up this weekend, is it possible for me to find a drum group to sing with, only 17. Yes, probably. I will say it's a contest powwow out there so some of the drum groups may be closed for their contest songs. But for inter travels and whatnot, I'm sure you can ask one of the head singers out there and hop on. Just go up and off [inaudible [00:18:17] ask one of the guys out there, you would probably be able to sit in for a couple songs. Just remember though, it is contest so they do have their drums probably set for that. And I know Morongo, at least in the past, took drum rolls of who was on the drum at certain times so they are tight with that or have been in the past.

Paul Gowder:
[Gigi [00:18:39] says, “Beautiful photos.” Thank you so much, I appreciate that. All right.

Paul Gowder:
Let me … I got a few more here so that was my Red Earth trip. Talked about Hawaii. Our first time at gathering. All right. So one more crazy story and … If this happened in 2004, too, y'all are going to think I'm crazy. No, it did not. It was in 2006. This was one of the craziest things we ever tried to do and my wife always tells me I try to do way too much and I always try to squeeze in more than we probably should. And this was one of those weekends we did.

Paul Gowder:
So we flew out to Morongo powwow. I said earlier, 2004 is my first one. No, I've been going to the Morongo since 2006. I'm looking at the pictures. 2006 was our first time at Morongo. And we flew out there and we hadn't been hired by the powwow or anything to come out. We just went out there to enjoy the powwow. And while I was there, I was like, hey look, I can livestream this and I showed them what we do and do you mind if we set up and do this? At this point, I've been live streaming for two years. I knew what I was doing, right?

Paul Gowder:
So we tried to set up and we tried to stream and I'd actually talked to them a few days ahead. They tried to set some things up for me. So we streamed for a little while and then somebody broke the fiber connection and anyways, it was fun. We had a great time at Morongo. We got to hang out with some of our friends. The late [Spike Draper [00:20:11] was there and we got to spend some time with him. We actually sponsored a contest at that powwow. And the winner, again, here's where we tried to squeeze in way too much. The winner got to go with us. So the powwow's over on Sunday. Monday we left for the powwow cruise. It's not around anymore but there used to be a powwow cruise. This guy put on this thing, it was powwow dancing on the cruise. And they had a few performers. So we … Spike Draper won the contest. He went on the cruise with us. The [Matthews [00:20:39] family from gathering nations went on the cruise. So we went from Morongo Powwow to this four-night cruise on carnival. Let's see … I have pictures of the cruise ship but that's probably not interesting.

Paul Gowder:
But anyways, we get on the ship. We're having a good time. Some of the really cool things from that is somebody said they got to see a performance of Robert Mirabal at a powwow. So the two performers on this cruise was Murray Porter, who's a blues senior out of Canada. If you've never heard him, go listen to his stuff. It's awesome. And Arvol Looking … Oh gosh, I haven't seen him for a year. What's his name? Arvol Looking Horse? Yes. Arvol … That's him, right? No, that's not him. Arvol Looking Horse is a pipe … Who am I thinking of? Now I have to Google it. Show the cruise … Hold on, I got a couple pictures of the ship. Who is this guy? His name's Arvol … Golly. What is his name? Somebody help me. It's not Looking Horse. He's the pipe carrier. This guy plays the violin. Hold on, let me see if my Googling is any good. I cannot believe I don't remember his name.

Paul Gowder:
But anyways, him and Murray were at our table and we got to spend the whole week with them, getting to know them. And watching them play, perform. That was really cool. Is it Looking Glass? All right. Sorry y'all have to watch me Google for a minute. Okay. Violin player, Native-American. Arvel Bird. Gosh, I am so sorry Arvel. If you ever watch this, I'm sorry. We got to hang out at several powwows after this too over the years. Sorry. I just completely blanked on his name. And he's a fabulous performer and here. But go check him out, Arvel Bird.

Paul Gowder:
Yeah, so Arvel Bird and Murray Porter. So that was awesome. All right, so here. Yeah, I can show you a couple pictures of what the cruise ship was. So there's the ship, here's our room. My wife and I out on the balcony enjoying it. We got to go on a couple of excursions in Mexico so there's photos of us there. And there's the gorgeous sunset that we got to enjoy on the ship. Really fantastic. And you can see by the pictures down here, too, again, we took in way too much that week.

Paul Gowder:
So we got Morongo Powwow, Powwow Cruise, got off the cruise and went to … At the time, it was a conference called Podcast Expo. And we went to that for the day and then the next day, we went and spent a day at Disneyland, first time we'd ever been at Disneyland. Actually ran into Spike Draper at Haunted Mansion. Kind of crazy. So yeah, we did a cruise, Morongo Powwow, Disneyland, and a conference all in like seven days. We were exhausted. That was crazy. Ryan says he did sound for him a few times. Yeah. And he is … He's a super nice guy. We had a really good time with him. Him and his wife, it was fantastic to get to know them, being around all them.

Paul Gowder:
And my other favorite memory from the Powwow Cruise. We're up on the top deck and we're having this powwow. I didn't, of course, we didn't bring any of our stuff. We weren't dressed out. But we were up there enjoying it, listening to the drum. And somebody asked for a two-step and the headman is like, I don't know how to do that, I've never done one before. And they had asked Lita Matthews, Dr. Lita Matthews, with their gathering nations to be the head lady. Well she comes over to me and goes, “You know how to do this?” I'm like, “Yeah, I know how to do this.” So I led a two-step on the top deck of a cruise with Dr. Lita Matthews from the gathering nations. It was a completely surreal moment. Just looking around like where am I? But it was awesome. We had a really good time. The dancers enjoyed it. Super fun.

Paul Gowder:
Anyways, so those are some of the memories I have from powwows. It's been 25 amazing years thanks to you guys out there. And I could go on and on with all kinds of other crazy stories and fun memories. And I'm hoping this weekend I get to make some more. Ryan, I'm on the way Saturday morning so save me a seat right there in arena up there on the emcee stand.

Paul Gowder:
For anybody out there that's coming to Morongo this weekend, please stop by and say hello. I'll bring some stickers and some things to give away too so if you come by and see me, I'll have some things for you. But please push the comments or send me an email later on, [email protected] I'd love to hear what your favorite moments are from powwows. I know you've got some memories whether it's with family or friends or just funny moments, I'd love to hear what yours are so shoot those in.

Paul Gowder:
Thank you so much for being with me on another episode of the Powwow Life Podcast. And I hope you enjoyed some of my most memorable moments. And I do want to hear from you so send in your memories. I'd love, love to hear you share those with me.

Paul Gowder:
All right, I promised you a couple things. So first, the Powwow Trivia question for this week. All you have to do to answer this question is head over to www.powwowlife.com. There's a form there. Put in your name and the answer to your question and before next week's episode, I will draw randomly from all the correct answers to win a prize pack from our powwow shop. So here's your question. Right now, because of COVID, there is not a current Miss Indian World. They're awaiting until the next one because the last one did serve two years and then they're going to … They ended her rein and they're going to select a new one at the 2022 Gathering of Nations. So who was the Miss Indian World before COVID who got to serve two years as Miss Indian World? And she's going to be our guest coming up on an episode. So timely question. So send that in, who was the last Miss Indian World? She served two years.

Paul Gowder:
And I promised you a bonus code to our 25 Pindleton Blanket giveaway. Your bonus code for this week is 8-6-3-6. 8-6-3-6, head on over to www.powwows.com/25, that's the numbers 2-5. And you can enter to win. Don't forget, this contest ends at the end of September so get in your chance to win one of those 25 Pindleton Blankets.

Paul Gowder:
Again, thank you for being here and supporting powwows.com. I really do appreciate your support and you listening. A couple of ways you can continue to support powwows.com that I would really appreciate. First, please go out on iTunes or Spotify. Leave us a review and subscribe to the podcast. That really helps us out a lot. Really appreciate that.

Paul Gowder:
And if you want to help powwows.com even more, please consider joining Powwow Nation Supporters. That is our group over on Patreon. Www.powwownation.com. Those are folks who are making a monthly contribution to powwows.com and they are helping us do some incredible things like hiring new folks. We have a new editor. We have new writers and we're looking now, in 2022, to go out and stream even more powwows. So we're hoping to get out there and show you powwows from other parts of the country that we haven't been to yet. And we need your help with that. So if you would consider joining our supporters over there on powwownation.com that would be fantastic and really help us go further, getting our team out there to stream more powwows.

Paul Gowder:
Again, I'm Paul Gowder and I am from powwows.com. Thank you for 25 amazing years here and I cannot wait to show you what's coming up next. And you out there in the community of powwows.com, of course, have always been there with us and I thank you for that support. I'll see you on next week's episode. Have a good week.

Thanks for listening to the Powwow Live Podcast from powwows.com. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to get notified of our next episode. Find a powwow near you by visiting www.powwows.com/calendar. Support powwows.com by visiting www.powwownation.com.


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Running Doe

osiyo really enjoyed

Jeffrey

I was able to attend Thunder and Lightning at Morongo. It was great to see the Pow Wow. Being cooped up at home is not fun. I like the dancing and Bird Song.

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