Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ponca Powwow history through my eyes..

As old as Ponca Powwow is, I still enjoy going to look on, and listen to the songs. Those old songs never get too old to listen too. I remember going to the powwow as a small boy, and there was so many dancers. Lot's of straight dancers. Looked like all the men would wear black vests with bandannas around their necks. A Ponca trait. I remember looking at the dancers and could tell what tribe they were just by the way they dressed. Something you can't hardly tell today!

The fancy dancers had come some distance from when the first fancy dancers (Gus MacDonald) had started at the Ponca Powwow. I remember one man in particular when attending the powwow. When you saw him dance you could automatically tell who he was, by the tall frame, and the high head dress, (no roach)the black and blue costume of Garland Kent Sr. He was the benchmark of Ponca powwow fancy dance in his day. I know the older tribal memebers from around the surrounding area, of the Tonkawa, Osage, Otoe Missouria, Pawnee, and Kaw tribes, remember GK when he danced. He was always fun to watch during the contest on Sunday night.

I had contacted him, and visited with him about his dancing, and was able to get a few photographs of him from Lucy (his wife).

I wanted to capture that image on a mat, as the way I remember his dancing. After a couple of start, erase, and start overs. I was finally able to finish what I had intended in the first place.

I won't show this painting until the gallery at the Ponca City art center, but just wanted you to know what I have been doing here the past few days. I already sent it on to Dave, my printer for press. I will have prints available for sale, for those of you that may be interested.

Do any of you remember the Indian two step going in a giant round circle, with nothing added to it? Two steps forward one step back, turn pivot and keep going. It was that way I remember when the two step was danced. There always was a clown in the arena too, wearing a weird straight dance costume. Used to scare the heck out of us kids too.. Funny today when you think back to how things used to be in the big arena. A very scared place, the clown was a whip man. Kept order in the arena.

My late Grandmother along with 3 other Ponca women, (all grandmas) were the very first women to go out around the big drum and sing with the men. That was forbidden until they broke the rule. Lots of history in our family with the big drum.

Thanks for reading.. aho!

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