Tribal Fair Retrospective: Powwow

Raymond and Edna Frost participates in a special with their children Heather and Jeanette Frost at the 1988 Southern Ute Tribal Fair Powwow.
Southern Ute elder Shirley Frost participates in the Grand Entry along with Williamette Thompson and Elise Redd during the Tribal Fair Powwow in 1980.
Fair Powwow Grand Entry was led by Councilman Eddie Box Sr., George Tahooahnitpah, Head Man Dancer, and Michelle Cloud, Headwoman dancer. It was another good Fair Powwow.
A drum group performs a song at the 1985 Tribal Fair Powwow.
Youth dancers line up for a song at the 1985 Tribal Fair Powwow.
Tribal Fair Powwow in the Sky Ute Downs indoor arena with over 125 dancers in Grand Entry at the 1986 Southern Ute Tribal Fair Powwow.
Men’s Northern Ute dancer competes at the 1988 Southern Ute Tribal Fair Powwow.
SU Drum archive
SU Drum archive
SU Drum archive
SU Drum archive
SU Drum archive
Fabian Martinez | The Southern Ute Drum
SU Drum archive

Being a participant in powwow isn’t an inconvenience to our daily routine, it is an upgrade to our Native lifestyle. Being a dancer or singer means that on any given weekend, a person can meet up with people who identify with their passion, discipline, and culture. Powwow is like rodeo in that there are structured divisions that a person chooses. Someone could decide to be a grass dancer, a jingle dress dancer, a fancy dancer, etc. Each of these styles requires practice, repetition, and determination in order to excel. Dancing is physical and some may even compare it to sports. The beauty of dancing is that you can participate for as many years as you wish.  No coach can cut you from the team and there is always a powwow happening on any given weekend.   

Dancing and singing are ways to express yourself and to inspire others.  It is also a long road of learning. Learning to maintain and build an outfit or drum requires care and compassion. Traveling to far off places and representing your tribe becomes an honor that we dancers and singers do not take lightly. This issue of the Southern Ute Drum illustrates a small portion of the pride and privilege of being a part of the powwow circle.  Please join us at the 62nd Annual Southern Ute Tribal Fair Powwow. See the beauty and feel the pride.  There’s something about it. 

~ Marvin Pinnecoose, Events Coordinator, Cultural Preservation Department. 

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