“It’s important that people see and experience the drumming and dancing of Native Americans,” said Brown, who helps run the event. He said the pow wow is not only about revealing his culture to others but also about celebrating inclusion of all races.Native Americans host pow wows to celebrate the end of a season and welcome a new one.
The two-day event includes storytelling, singing, dancing, craft-making, eating traditional food and walking through a small village.
A highlight is the grand entry to be held at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday and at 1 p.m. Sunday.
“All of our dancers come into the arena at one time and dance to the beat of the drums,” Brown said. They will be dressed in colorful Native American garb.
“The drum is the heartbeat of the earth. As long as the drums continue, that heart beat will continue,” he said.
Dancers will also demonstrate different styles — the men’s traditional, the women’s traditional and the fancy shaw, which is more flamboyant than the traditional, he said.
Those who come to the pow wow can join in what’s known as intertribal dancing, he said.
An important part of the pow wow is the giveaway at noon on Sunday, Brown said.
“We offer gifts to everyone because they are interested in our culture,” he said. “It’s a gift from us to them from our heart.”
The gifts are small tokens, perhaps a hand towel, or a tube of toothpaste. “It’s items people can use,” he said.
In addition, Dan King, who lives with the Oneida nation in Wisconsin, will tell traditional stories in the arena, perhaps about eagles and other animals — whatever he is comfortable with at the time, Brown said.
“He’s been part of our pow wow for many years. He’s a major speaker for a lot of native organizations.”
Visitors can also watch men and women creating items out of porcupine quills or making arrowheads. A food vendor will sell traditional foods including fry bread and fry bread tacos, a combination of meat, vegetables and seasonings placed inside the fry bread.
The pow wow is held at Shiloh Park because of its link to the Potawatomi culture, which thrived before settlers came.
“It’s an old council area. It’s a special place. It has a good feeling. We’re up in the oak grove of the park and it’s just a beautiful place to be,” Brown said.
Sheryl DeVore is a freelance writer for the News-Sun.
24th Annual Potawatomi Trails Pow Wow
When: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Aug. 26, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Aug. 27
Where: Shiloh Park, 25th and Emmaus, Zion
Information: 847-746-5797; www.goflo.com/powwow