103rd Annual Meskwaki Powwow slated for August 10th-13th

T-R FILE PHOTO
The 103rd Annual Meskwaki Powwow will be held August 10-13, at the Powwow Grounds, located four miles west of Tama on Hwy E-49. Ceremonial dances will be held daily at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Vendors will be set up offering food, arts, crafts and jewelry.

T-R FILE PHOTO The 103rd Annual Meskwaki Powwow will be held August 10-13, at the Powwow Grounds, located four miles west of Tama on Hwy E-49. Ceremonial dances will be held daily at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Vendors will be set up offering food, arts, crafts and jewelry.

TAMA — It’s a cultural celebration unlike any other in Iowa.

The 103rd Annual Meskwaki Powwow draws thousands of visitors each year; people who come out to the Meskwaki Settlement interested in the history and culture of the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa.

The celebration will kickoff Wednesday, August 9 from 7-9 p.m. with the Powwow Princess Competition, at the Powwow Grounds, located four miles west of Tama.

“These girls will not only be ambassadors at the Powwow, but also for the whole year as they travel across the nation representing the tribe at different events,” said Christina Blackcloud, chair of the Powwow Association.

Junior Princesses must be between the ages of 6-12, and Princesses between the ages of 13-18, and of Meskwaki descent.

Ceremonial dances will be held August 10-13 at the Powwow Grounds, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day and will include: the Friendship Dance, a universal dance among tribal nations, as a way to welcome visitors, a Meskwaki Dance, unique to the tribe, as well as the harvest or bean, swan, buffalo head, pipe, war, Shawnee, rabbit and victory or soldier dances. Performers will wear full-dress regalia, many outfits having been passed down for several generations.

“These are traditional dances only performed here,” Blackcloud said.

In addition to the dances, vendors will be selling a variety of Native American foods and produce, as well as fair foods. Authentic Native American-made arts, crafts, jewelry, clothing and bead work will be available for purchase. Vendors will include local Native Americans, plus ones coming from other parts of the country.

A free Fun Walk/Run will be held Saturday, August 12, with sign-up starting at 9 a.m., and again on Sunday, August 13, with sign-up starting at 8:30 a.m.

General admissions is $7 for adults, $5 for children, and 5 and under get in free of charge. Discounts will be given to kids on Children’s Day (August 10), to those 55 plus on Senior’s Day (August 11) and to servicemen and women on Veteran’s Day (August 12).

Most of last year’s Powwow events were canceled, due to a death in the community.

The Powwow will be streamed live on Saturday, viewable on the Powwow website. To learn more, visit meskwakipowwow.com or call 641-484-4678.

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com