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September 14, 2010 > Pow Wow - a unique American experience

Pow Wow - a unique American experience

By Fina Mora

A National Pow Wow honoring the "Red/Black Connection" will be held Saturday, September18 and Sunday, September 19, at California State University East Bay in Hayward. Hosted by the Black Native American Association (BNAA), the meeting is designed to explore the connections - past, present and future - of Black Native Americans.

Pow Wow is a term used to indicate a gathering of Native Americans of North America. In a strict sense, the term indicated a spiritual meeting including social and community aspects. A "Grand Entry" of participants signals the opening of a Pow Wow followed by an invocation and the beginning of drum beats to guide singing and dancing. MC for the event will be Val Shadowhawk; honored drums and participants will follow traditional intertribal etiquette and public guests are asked to honor tribal traditions and demeanor as well.

BNAA is an intertribal group of people with African-American and Native American heritage founded in 1992. A member of the Bay Area American Indian Representatives (BAAIR), BNAA's intent is to be inclusive; proof of tribal enrollment or recognition is not required. All who wish to including indigenous peoples from all over the world are welcome.

This Pow Wow is intended to be the first of many annual events and will include traditional dances, an "Iron Dance," intertribal dancing and a Round Dance. All dancers and drummers are welcome as is the general public. Admission is free, but alcohol, drugs and pets are not allowed on Pow Wow grounds. Arts and crafts vendors will be on site and exhibition dances are scheduled for the two-day event.

A series of workshops are scheduled for Friday, September 17 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. to explore the contemporary relationships between the Native American and Black American communities. A panel of experts will facilitate discussion groups in coordination with the CSUEB Sociology Department.

The Multicultural Pow Wow is a unique opportunity for everyone to witness the traditions and culture of Native Americans and participate in the festivities including arts and crafts vendors and raffles. A lawn chair is advised for those who wish to view dancing and drumming in comfort.

National Pow Wow
Workshops: Friday, Sept 17
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Grand Entry, Sat & Sun, Sept 18, 19
1 p.m.
California State University, East Bay
(lawn in front of Music Building)
25800 Carlos Bee Boulevard, Hayward
(510) 386-5684
www.bnaa.org

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