Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Third annual spring powwow celebrates Native American culture

Dancers perform at the 2011 spring powwow. Photo: Wayne Armstrong

Native American students at the University of Denver are holding a celebration of their community and culture — and all of DU and the Denver community are invited to join in. The University’s third annual spring powwow will be held from 1–6 p.m. May 19, with the grand entrance at 1 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Native nations from throughout the United States will be represented at the powwow, “New Beginnings,” hosted by DU’s Native Student Alliance. The event features traditional music, dance and food, as well as Native American vendors selling handcrafted art and jewelry. There will be community dances for spectators to participate in, as well.

“This is a traditional event to bring various native communities together to practice their native dances and wear their traditional regalia,” says Johanna Leyba, assistant provost for inclusive excellence. “This is a great opportunity for the DU community to learn about Native American communities today, as well as their surviving histories and cultures and traditions.”

Powwows originally were held as part of spiritual celebrations, Leyba says.

“They have evolved into annual gatherings for native peoples to celebrate their traditions, connect and engage in friendly competition,” she says.




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