Sunday, August 10, 2008

Siksika Fair

As I've mentioned before, I scheduled this trip around salsa! I have missed a few classes before, so I wanted to plan my next trip around salsa class (which is every Tues). My window appeared in August in that we had a week off in between Beginning Salsa III and Intermediate Salsa I. So, I took this opportunity to head up to Siksika and see everyone and hang out (and to see the newest member of the Yellow Fly family: "10" a.k.a. Mr. Tenisyn). This window happened to coincide with the weekend when our tribe (Siksika Nation) has it's annual pow wow: Siksika Nation Fair.

I wasn't arguing. I like to pow wow, and hanging out at our own pow wow was fine with me. This year's pow wow was from 8/7 - 8/10. The Host Drum for this year's pow wow was Black Lodge (a Blackfeet/Yakama drum from White Swan, WA). Black Lodge is an awesome drum group which has been around for decades. I listened to them when I started singing.
Black Lodge Singers

Pow Wow and Hand Games Arenas

After hanging out for a little, I then went into "drum-groupie" mode. I went around and listened to each drum as they each sang. After listening to all these awesome singers, I became ancy. I wanted to sing, or atleast dance. Unfortunately, I totally spaced and forgot to pack my Grass Dance outfit, so I was delegated to being a "drum groupie". Oh well--there's nothing wrong with listening to good singin'.

Now our pow wow happens to coincide with a new pow wow in Cree country, Enoch. They recently opened a casino, and their pow wow has become big. So, some drums and singers make their way up north during this weekend. Our pow wow still rocks though.

While checking out the pow wow, I also got to judge some of the Men's categories. There were some great dancers, and it was hard to choose my favorites. Seeing some old timers gettin' down out there, made me feel guilty for not dancing (lame, lame, lame of me!).

Warrior Tribe Singers

In Search Of The "Cabaret" and 49

Something I've never heard of for a "post pow wow" activity is a cabaret. I guess its a dance type get together with a DJ. This particular one was located off-reserve in the border town of Carseland. Made it out to this small town, but this little town was totally dead. We couldn't find anything! Ended up shooting pool at a local haunt, and that was fun.

Later in the evening (ummm...some time past 1am), we heard word of a 49 back on the rez. With this news and rough directions of where to go, we made our way in search of the 49. It sounded like the 49 was some where near where I went fly fishing the other day, on the West End, so I made my way over there. As we arrived to the area, it was pitch black and no one was around. Took this opportunity to hang out, and look at the sky. While standing on the prairie and looking at the sky, several meteors were spotted. I totally forgot that the Perseids meteor shower always peaks around the time of our pow wow. Very cool!
Raining Perseids

While watching meteor showers saw a caravan of headlights in the distance. They weren't coming toward us. Looks like I misjudged the rendezvous. Anyway, made our way to where everyone was. I must admit, I was a little wary, since our mode of transportation was the little Prius, and we were doing some off-roading. We made it though.

49 was alright. Felt pretty old, cuz there were lots of kids, boozin', and cow flops. We ended up staying for only a little while. And yes, the Prius made it out no worse for wear! :)

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