With everything else going on in Prescott, it might be easy to overlook the Intertribal Prescott Pow Wow taking place at Watson Lake this weekend. And that would be a shame.
The limited glimpse into another culture one receives upon approaching the Pow Wow (which is open to the public) includes lots of bright colors and a steady beat of drums intermingled amongst a sense of quiet. A strong patriotism is on display, flags mixed with tribal flags included an American Flag and one to honor POWs/MIAs. On the backs of many of the men are references to military service in the Airborne and in Vietnam.
Native Americans look upon the PowWow as a link to the past and their heritage. “The Pow Wow is a spiritual legacy which should be treated with respect and honor,” states their website. "It is a time of sharing, of laughter and tears, of learning and of caring. It is a time when Native Americans reflect on their traditions. It is a time to honor the past and celebrate the future.”
Some families travel hundreds of miles to attend a Pow Wow, as described, “It is a time to strengthen the circle."
Reading the full etiquette page before attending is helpful to understanding what you are seeing and hearing. Photos may or may not be allowed as described in the Pow Wow etiquette page, "Consider the privacy of the individual dancers and singers and ask permission before you take a photo or record them. We cannot stress this enough. This includes spectators and craftspeople. Keep in mind that most native people at powwow are not there to perform or entertain the crowd. We are there to dance, sing, pray, celebrate our culture and visit our family and friends. If you keep that in mind that you are a guest and act respectfully- you will be well received and welcomed. A nice gesture when taking a photo is to ask if the dancer would like a copy via email or text. NEVER take photos of children without the parents' consent.”
In addition to the native music and dancing are vendor booths with jewelry, pottery and other goods. Most of the vendors are showing their own personal craft and art. Ask them about the images on the pottery and the stories they represent. Many of the pieces are unique and one-of-a-kind. It’s fascinating to hear what each piece represents and the care and thought that went into creating it.
These pieces are by Cheryl’s Creations Unlimited - she notes that they are ‘Hand crafted and warranteed.’
She has a Facebook page for more information.
If you go:
Where: Watson Lake
When: Sunday - “Grand Entry” takes place at 12.
Admission: Free, but parking is $5