Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pow Wow / birch bark dye

Fourth of July weekend we camped at the Manistee Pow wow, it's always well attended and beautiful. One special group that was there were native people with Aztec ancestry from Mexico. They put on special dance performance. They began by burning sage and blessing the arena in the four directions.

You can see the man blowing a conch shell during the ceremony.

After the blessing a women took over on the drum. She was a powerful drummer.

Dancing with the drum.

After the Aztecs, the Pow wow resumed with the traditional Native dancers. This was a great men's traditional outfit. The head piece is a traditional piece from the Mamdam (sp?) people of Northern Montana and Idaho. His appliqued was beautiful.

This bustle on the dancers back was all eagle feathers. If made correctly the bustle sways with the dancers movements.

I love how kids play together, skin color is invisible. This little native boy is wearing a traditional grass dancers outfit. Traditionally grass dancers lived on the plains out west and before a pow wow or important ceremony they (much older dancers) would stomp the grasses down. When they dance the fringe on their outfits sway as the grasses move in the wind. It's a beautiful dance.

They have a Miss Princess contest with quite strict rules. Katie (the girlfriend of one of the drummers on my husbands drum) won the contest. She will represent the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians for the next year. She is a wonderful person. She did the red, white and blue floral bead work on her outfit.

Well, our kids have gone back home and it's time to get out the dye pots! My girlfriend called and said she had some birch bark and wanted to know if I wanted it for dying. I went there was quick as I could to pick it up (thank you Sandy). I chopped it up and put it in a bucket of water to set a week or so before using it as a dye. They say you should be able to get pink.

I put in a couple of rocks in to hold the bark down. This is the color of the water after 12 hours. Next week I'll add the wool.

1 comment:

Deb H said...

That Katie is a beauty.

It looks like it was hot there!
The kids are so cute.

I wonder if Alaskan Birch would make pink. I have plenty around here!

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo