20th Annual Austin Pow Wow and American Heritage Festival

On the first Saturday in  November the Pow Wow comes to Austin.  Pascal Regimbeau, owner of Chez Nous is a gourd dancer and co-sponsors the event with Great Promise for American Indians which started at McCallum High School 20 years ago. My friends and family have supported the pow wow, danced in the pow wow, participated in sweat lodges and sun dances over the years in Austin, New Mexico, Hueco Tanks and Oklahoma. It’s always good to see the people dance and to feel the beat of the heart drum.

19th Austin Pow Wow

Austin’s 19th Annual Pow Wow

I’ve been going to the Austin Pow Wows since they began.  The grand entry begins with the color guard (military veterans) who are followed by the gourd dancers, another group of warriors.  First, the eagle staff is carried into the circle, followed by the American, state and tribal flags. Then, chiefs and headmen enter, followed by head dancers and royalty (i.e. honorary Powwow Princesses)

Other invited dignitaries are next to enter followed by the men: traditional dancers first, then grass dancers and fancy dancers.  Women enter next: traditional dancers, fancy shawl dancers and jingle dress dancers. They’re followed by junior boys, traditional and fancy dancers, and the little girls, traditional and fancy shawl dancers. The dancers dance clockwise, around the arbor.  The people coming together, uniting heaven and earth in a sacred spiral.