SILVER CITY — While Friday's opening of the 9th annual Red Paint Powwow was an educational day for the kids, Saturday was a more public occasion.
There were still plenty of stories and displays of Native American culture, but for a more adult audience, Powwow participants pulled out all the stops. Saturday's events included open gourd dances, hoop dance demonstrations from returning Moontee Sinquah and his sons, Scott and Sampson, and explanations of several rituals. Then, the competitions began.
Native Americans from a wide range of regions and nations competed in song, with groups drumming and singing traditional songs, and dance. The drums and the dancers played integral roles in each other's presentations — from somber, visibly symbolic dances to lively and bright.
The Native American attire on display was vibrant and striking. From feathered, fluorescent displays several feet across, to musical dress with bells and flowing fringe. The pride the dancers had in their dress and their heritage was clear from far away.
The Red Paint Powwow will continue today at WNMU.
If you go:
What: 9th annual Red Paint Powwow
Where: Western New Mexico University, Silver City, New Mexico
Cost: Saturday and Sunday: $10. Half-price for WNMU students, seniors and children under 12.
9 a.m. Indian Market open
11 a.m. Gourd Dancing
1 p.m. Contest Powwow - Grand Entry
Hand Drum Finals
6 p.m. Awards and Closing
Benjamin Fisher can be reached at (575) 538-5893 ext.