Thunderbird American-Indian Pow-Wow 2014
New York City’s oldest and largest pow wow will feature three days of intertribal Native American dance competitions to which the public is invited. Over 40 Indian nations are represented at this spectacular event held in the apple orchard on the farm grounds. A large selection of unique Native American art, crafts, jewelry and food are available.
A pow wow is often set up as a series of large circles. The center circle is the dance arena, outside of which is a larger circle consisting of the MC’s table, drum groups, and sitting areas for dancers and their families. Beyond these two circles for participants is an area for spectators, while outside of all are designated areas with vendor’s booths, where one can buy food (including frybread and Indian tacos), music, jewelry, souvenirs, arts and crafts, bead work, leather, and regalia supplies.
A pow-wow session begins with the Grand Entry and, in most cases, a prayer. The Eagle Staff leads the Grand Entry, followed by flags, then the dancers, while one of the host drums sings an opening song. This event is sacred in nature; some pow wows do not allow filming or photography during this time, though others allow it.
If military veterans or active duty soldiers are present, they often carry the flags and eagle staffs. They are followed by the head dancers, then the remaining dancers usually enter the arena in a specific order: Men’s Traditional, Men’s Grass Dance, Men’s Fancy, Women’s Traditional, Women’s Jingle, and Women’s Fancy. Teens and small children then follow in the same order. Following the Grand Entry, the MC will invite a respected member of the community to give an invocation. The host drum that did not sing the Grand Entry song will then sing a Flag Song, followed by a Victory or Veterans’ Song, during which the flags and staffs are posted at the MC’s table.
Most of the various types of dances performed at a pow wow are descended from the dances of the Plains tribes of Canada and the United States. Besides those for the opening and closing of a pow wow session, the most common is the intertribal, where a Drum will sing a song and anyone who wants to can come and dance. Similar dances are the round dance; crow hop when performed by a northern drum or a horse stealing song by a southern drum; there is also “double beat”, “sneak-up” and, for Women’s Traditional and Jingle, “sidestep”. Each of these songs have a different step to be used during them, but are open for dancers of any style.
In addition to the open dances, contest dances for a particular style and age group are often held, with the top winners receiving a cash prize. To compete in a contest, the dancer must be in regalia appropriate for the competition. Larger pow wows have more specific categories.
Admission: Adults $10.00 (all weekend pass $15.00), children: $5.00 (age 12 and under) (all weekend pass $7.00)
(Free with Farm Membership PLUS)
Performance Times Gates Open
Friday 7 pm – 10 pm 6 am
Saturday 12 pm – 3 pm – 7 pm – 10 pm 10 am
Sunday 12 pm – 3 pm 10 am