Stanford Powwow on Mother’s Day

 Stanford Powwow Tipi

For many years my favorite thing to do on Mother’s Day is go to the big Indian powwow at Stanford University. They’ve been gathering in the eucalyptus grove there every spring for forty years. In the tipi above a tiny cowboy two steps. Many dancers come to perform and compete in the dancing ground. I love seeing the young people in their splendid regalia. This young woman is on her toes, still dancing while she talks to her friends.  How radiant she is!

Powwow Young Dancers
I had to zoom in quite a bit to get these wonderful jingle dancers. How fun to wear a skirt that jingles like that when you move!

Powwow Jingle Dancers
There is so much wonderful finery mixed in with those working the fair, and the wanderers who come to watch the ceremony.

Powwow Regalia
And much major plumage to admire.

Powwow Plumage

Surrounding the dancing ground in the middle is a great ring of food and arts vendors. I love to shop the supplier to the makers and managed this year to find a very nice brown deerskin of a good size for many book projects, and some bone carvings for making wraparound book closures with. These are especially good for some of the books I make with a very earthen and old feeling, books with texture derived from natural materials.

Just after we got there, the announcer was introducing a singer who was to sing a song in honor of the mothers, for Mother’s Day. She sang without accompaniment, no drums or other voices, and her voice was so full and bright and strong, I just stopped and listened to her sing with her heart. And felt honored to be among the mothers so respected here among people who are following the old ways.

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