A Gathering of Nations
On April 23, 2002, we went to the Gathering of Nations powwow. It is a huge event with four full days of activity and excitement. There were tribes from Canada and all over the United States. There were also a lot of local tribes such as Apache and Navajo.
The powwow was not only celebrated by natives but also by people from all over the world. There were people from Germany, France, Italy, Africa, Hawaii, England, and China.
There were cash prizes for 28 different categories of contest dancing. The categories for men were Grass, Fancy, and Traditional. The colors of the different regalia worn by each dancer were amazing. Dance categories for women were Fancy Shawl, Jingle Dress, and Traditional. The children had similar dance categories as the adults.
The beadwork on the regalia was beautiful. Some of the clothing was very elaborate. Others were simpler in design. The cost of making the regalia was from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
There were cash prizes for the different drum groups that participated. These drum groups came from Canada and all over the U.S. They played and sang different songs while the dancers were dancing. There was also a Miss Indian World contest. A new Miss Indian World was crowned.
Over 3,000 registered dancers and singers participated in the powwow. There were over 800 craft vendors under huge tents selling their wares. The artwork was beautiful and detailed. Some of the artwork was beading of jewelry, furniture, and clothing. There were also quilts and footwear for sale.
Some vendors sold food and drinks. There was no alcohol served. There were all kinds of food like Indian fry bread tacos, fry bread, chili burgers, and much more! Other booths had educational information about a variety of topics.
We spent two days at the powwow and didn’t get to see everything. We would like to return to Albuquerque to visit again sometime. The city is a blending of different cultures. The people were very friendly and courteous.