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UCM to Host First Native American Pow Wow

By Mike Greife, October 29, 2015

WARRENSBURG, MO – The University of Central Missouri will host the First Annual Trading Moon Pow Wow from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, in the UCM Student Recreation and Wellness Center.  The pow wow is free and open to the public.

Catherine Burris, director of the Center for Religious Studies at UCM, is project director for the powwow and arts celebration, which will bring performers and artists together with scholars and experts in Native American culture. This year’s pre-pow wow events include demonstrations of Native American dance, educational and interpretive talks, and cultural events.

“Although Missouri has about 30,000 residents of Native American heritage, there are only a few pow wows, and very little instruction in Missouri schools about Missouri’s Native American history,” Burris said. “By bringing together Native American performers and artists in combination with scholarly instruction, we hope to illuminate that heritage through the living arts that reflect and preserve it.

“We hope to make the pow wow an annual event” she added, “fostering awareness of area Native American culture, and also letting the local Native American community know that we at UCM respect and value Native American traditions and culture.”

Dances, performed in traditional regalia, will begin at noon, with the grand entry ceremony at 2:45 p.m., followed by more dancing until 5 p.m. Following an evening meal break, the program will continue from 5:45 p.m. until the closing ceremony at 9:30 p.m. The ceremonial dances will be accompanied by commentary and instruction on the dances and regalia, which also will be available in a free printed program.

The public is welcome to join the dancers, drummers, and their families for the traditional feast in UCM Ellis Dining Center, at a cost of $6 per person, plus tax.  Some traditional dishes will be included in the assortment of entrees, side dishes, desserts, and beverages. Events planned in conjunction with the pow wow include a performance by the Missouri Arts Council song and dance troupe, “Beyond the Circle,” for area elementary school children to introduce them to Native American culture in preparation for the pow wow.  The dance troupe also will perform at the Missouri Veterans Home in Warrensburg.

UCM sociology, anthropology, music, and criminal justice faculty will present and discuss Native American films at free screenings on campus from Nov. 2-7, and classes in the traditional Native American crafts of beading, ribbonwork, quilting, and moccasin-making will be offered on campus on Saturday, Nov. 7.  Details on the film showings and the crafts classes are available on the pow wow web site.

Financial support for the Trading Moon Pow Wow and Native Arts Celebration has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, the Missouri Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, with assistance from the UCM Office of Sponsored Programs. Financial support also has been provided by the UCM Department of Sociology, Gerontology, and Cross-Disciplinary Studies; College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; and UCM Dining Services by Sodexo.


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