The drum circle—-they were being recorded and check out the “singer”with his hand to his throat—the sounds they make are amazing and painful!
What an awesome experience this was for me today! We went to see the Grand Entry twice today and if you did not get goosebumps watching this you must have a stone for a heart! I was so moved and totally enjoyed the experience. The second one in the evening was really crowded and with 8 of us it was impossible to find a place to sit but a lady caught my attention and told me they had made room for 2, then 3 and eventually all of us had a seat together thanks to their generosity and willingness to scrunch in so that we could enjoy it also. It was fabulous and tonight they held a special honoring of the veterans which was incredible. Bagpipes played Amazing Grace and afterwards they gifted the player with a Star Quilt—one of their very special things. I was so happy that we were able to go twice today as the dancers had changed regalia and so we saw some totally different things later on. Anyway—fabulous. Many of the pictures I took were a blur of color because as they dance and twirl and crouch and bend the colors all swirled together but it made for a beautiful presentation. Will post more pictures eventually but these will be a taste! Enjoy!
The following is an explanation of Wacipi taken from the Rosebud Indian Reservation website.
How to enjoy a Wacipi (pronounced WA CHEE PEE)… The wacipi (or pow wow) as we the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Nations call our celebrations, have evolved from the olden days to explosions of new art and designs constantly appearing and changing from year to year.
The dance styles, dress and music you will see at our wacipi celebrations show the most beautiful and colorful finery, elaborate feather work, intricate beadwork that go with many different dance steps and dance styles beginning with our young children, teenagers, young men, young ladies, to the older men and older women.
The wacipi as practiced in the Plains region is a social event which can last one to many days and is the time when Lakota, Dakota, or Nakota tribal people conduct Honorings, giveaways, family gatherings and when friends meet, camp, visit and reconnect as tribal nations. During the summer months the wacipi celebration is usually held outdoors with a shade or cover area where the audience and dancers sit under while the center area space is reserved for the dancing.
Dances are either for men or women, and competitions are divided into age categories. The dancers dance in a clockwise direction when they are in the arena area and ultimately represents the circle of unity, the never-ending cycle of life. Singers are usually under or adjacent to the shade or covered area between the audience and the dance area. The wacipi singers are a very important part of wacipi. Without the singers and the rhythm of the drum beat, there would be no dance. They sing many types of songs; honor and family, war and conquest, songs of joy, encouragement, humor and mourning.