Wow! A Pow Wow!

Trip Start Jun 01, 2011
Trip End Sep 15, 2011

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Flag of Canada  , Newfoundland and Labrador,
Saturday, July 9, 2011

We were off to Port au Port and came across a sign that said there was a Powwow in Flat we went. The event was presented by the Mi’kmaq Revival Committee and Flat Bay Indian Band. We arrived just in time as the Grand Entry was just about to begin. 

Neither Norm or I had ever been to a Powwow before so this was kinda cool. Everyone looked so fabulous. There were so many brilliant colours and all kinds of nature-related items on their traditional clothing - feathers, bones, claws, sculls, fur and more. When I asked one fella if I could hold his eagle-foot ceremonial stick, he asked if I had anything to drink in the last 48 hours. When I said that I had (as we were at the 25th Wedding Anniversary the night before) he asked me not to touch it as it was too sacred. He told us that the eagle soars the highest and has great meaning to his people. He, himself, had been preparing for this event for the past 2 months and hadn’t had a drop to drink. He was very interesting to speak with.

The Chief (the blonde woman in the tan dress in the Grand Entry photo with all of the flags) greeted the crowd with well wishes and sincere appreciation for attending as this was their 6th Annual Powwow in the Flat Bay community. She was gracious in saying that you didn’t need to be Aboriginal to attend, but that the Pow Wow was for everyone to enjoy. And so we did.
I got some fabulous photos with all of the movement and energy of the dancers to the beat of the drums. The beat was so distinct - it just played and played over and over again. 

The Head Female Dancer was Robin Benoit. She was very pretty and a really good dancer. Everyone in the crowd was impressed with her and snapped photo after photo of her dancing and lovely smile.

Some of the ceremonial costumes were pretty neat - like the wolf head guy. Didn’t really get a chance to speak to him or many of the participants as we didn’t stay too long. We only watched the Grand Entry, which involved 3 dances and then all of the introductions. It was nice to hear that several of the Aboriginal dancers came from other parts of the country - like Ontario and I’m pretty sure they said British Columbia too.

The Powwow was a 3-day affair and definitely something worth seeing. I’m sure we’d do it again one day, but enjoy it right through to the end as there was much more to see with a Meet and Greet, Sunrise Ceremony, Live Music, a Feast, the Retiring of the Flags, Drum Groups, Sweatlodge Ceremony, and a presentation of a Tobacco Tie (not sure what that is). Anyway, it was interesting and we had a nice time.

After Flat Bay we went down the road to the Port au Port Peninsula (which was our original destination for the day) and took a drive out to Cape St.George. It was a pretty spot, but didn’t have quite as much of the spectacular scenery that we were told it was going to have. We’ll admit to being a bit disappointed as we really hoped for much more. Moral of the story...I guess you can’t believe everything you hear!
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Ann and Steve on

Wow nice that you saw a pow wow. We saw one but it was just a short one but we gor to go through the tepees and they were in costume doing their dance. Quite the outfits and makeup. They must have been hot! We saw that Norm got in trouble with the law again. He's got to stop doing that. We didn't know that the Indians didn't didn't drink for days before the pow wow because it was a sacred thing. Interesting.

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