Thursday, October 21, 2010

NAIA Pow Wow 2010

Saturday morning I was awakened by a cool morning breeze blowing through the open window. The air tickled my senses alluring me into the great out doors. I knew from the moment my eyes opened that I wanted to go hiking. I wanted to embrace the cool Autumn air, surrounding myself with life's simple things...
I have really been craving a day at Fall Creek Falls but because making it back in the same day would have been too much for the children I opted to keep it local.

I searched out for new hiking grounds fearing  that the children were bored with our regular excursions at Bledsoe. I found Long Hunter State Park. It was fairly close and as luck would have it they were also having the 2010 NAIA POW WOW. I read off the list of entertainment; Song and Dance, Indian food, exhibits, and demonstrations! Wow I was impressed. "Perfect", I thought. We made a few phone calls and then loaded up the entire family to headed out the park.

Before attending the Pow Wow, I thought this would be something great to write about! I thought that it would be a great experience for my family, (a way to connect with our heritage and such). I was just thrilled.

 I have to say if you were hoping for a deep enriching post filled with spirit and history you are going to be as disappointed as I was at the Pow Wow on Saturday.

We arrived at the grounds fairly early but there was still a  slew of people, Which made me extremely nervous. I was trying to do head count of children every few minutes, giving them enough lead way to enjoy themselves but trying to steer them clear of the vendor booths as well.

There were lines a mile long at each food booth. "Must be good stuff ", I thought. So I walked up to get a view of the menu; Hot dogs, hamburgers, and barbeque! REALLY!?!?!?! But hey the hot dogs were boiled by full blooded Native Americans! Its Indian food right!?!?  I think not!

Moving on... I continued to search out for the demonstration areas. I thought that perhaps there would be a primitive skills area. I just  finished reading Earth Knack and I was inspired by the pottery, basket weaving, hide tanning etc. Surly there would be primitive demonstrations!? Nope, didn't see anything at all. Although I did see a booth set up with a woman selling clay figurines... I was tempted to flip them over and see if "made in china" was stamped on the back but I didn't.

Finally the Dancers gathered in the middle of the field to start the program. By the time we reached the stands, there was such a thick gathering that the only way to get any decent shots of the dancers was to crawl underneath the announcers trailer and take pics while laying on the ground, (thanks for the pics dad).

Needless to say the POW WOW was a big disappointment. Being the types of people who will squeeze life's lemons into lemon aid. We ditched the over crowded, over priced, over rated  POW WOW and headed off towards the woods.

 Long Hunter had some of the prettiest natural landscapes that I had seen in a park. We started walking down a long wooded path surrounded by changing Poplar Oak and Maple trees. It was a beautiful site. We walked on the trails along the bluff of Percy Priest lake. Finally winding down to a small cove where the children looked for shells and magic rocks. It was a fun little walk and a nice change in scenery.

Unfortunately the park hasn't completely recovered from the flooding this past spring. There were piles of debris and trash that has washed up on the parks high banks that have yet to be cleaned up. I also noticed that the park was scarce of wildlife although I did see a squirrel... one squirrel.  As I walked on I remarked how pretty some of these views would be in a different light, perhaps in morning. My father sternly reminded me that Long Hunter is a dangerous place to be alone at, and then the memory hits me. A lady from our town was found murdered and  buried here. After that recognition I got the hebejeebes and wanted to get the heck out of there.

I cant say the day was an entire bust. I originally wanted to go to Fall Creek Falls this weekend but we didnt because I mistakenly thought there was going to be a scheduling conflict. Some other family wasn't so lucky. They were on the trails at the falls and a boulder fell, hitting a child in the head. The child is now in critical condition, please keep them in your thoughts.  I also now know that I don't ever want to go back Long Hunter State Park. I was able to spend the day with my entire family, picked up some great footage, was inspired by some of crafts, And I learned that Long Hunter State Park isnt going to be in my list of favorites. ;)


  1. If our local tribes have ever held a Pow Wow it escaped my notice. I wouldn't mind seeing one someday; but maybe not. I avoid crowded places like the plague! State and Federal parks fall in the same category. I'd much rather have the woods to myself, just me and my dogs. There's a lot of the hermit in me.

  2. We were there on Sat too.. but later in the day.. it was nice.. crowds had thinned out .. dancing was wonderful!
    We did have Indian Tacos.. pretty good stuff :)
    and the stand we ate from also had other NA foods.. on top of your standard foods..

    We had a nice time.. sorry your family was disappointed :(

    The is a wonderful place :)


  3. Some of the Pow Wows can be better than others but i know what you mean. Selling mass produced crafts, etc is usually what you find. There is the Shinnecock reservation out on Long Island where i used to live (Southampton). I knew a man there and also went to one of their pow wows i think. Connecting to the land and native people isnt really done at events. I felt crazy living energy and saw so much evidence of spirit just walking through the res at night and feeling how the land communicates. Its a quiet thing more than drumming or searching.

  4. Hey Leigh,
    It sounds like a disappointing day indeed, especially if someone with your sunny outlook cannot see too many positives in it. But what goes around comes around and I'm sure that you'll soon be telling and showing us pictures of more special times and places in your wonderful and unique way.
    My thoughts are with the hurt child and I wish him the speediest of recoveries.
    Best regards,

  5. Bob,
    All Pow Wows are not created equal so you might just have better luck elsewhere. I suggest that perhaps you follow Denise's lead and go later after the crowds have wained a bit.... I have hermit tendencies too! LOL

    I'm glad to hear that it wasn't a bust for everyone. I didn't see a stand with NA food... next time Im going with you! Lead the way girlfriend! ;)
    Murfreesboro is having a Harvest Days Festival this weekend... Its more up my alley, you may be interested as well... Sounds pretty interesting.

    "Connecting to the land and native people isn't really done at events." <- Lol you made me laugh at myself! Very true...I feel more in tune with myself and surroundings when I am alone with nature... not a crowded group of people! ;) Should've known... I really was hoping to have learned something I didn't know before, I think that was the source of disappointment.

    Aye, another day perhaps. And like I said it wasn't a total bust but it is such a shame that with a cloud we only get a meager silver lining!? ;)

  6. Pow-wow's, like "Amish country" have gotten prtty commercialized, I'm afraid. Even the costumes are far from authentic.

  7. Gorges,
    I agree but I think it also has to do with preconceived notions and romanticizing ideals...
    Lord knows I am guilty.