At noon on Saturday September 21 the Grand Entry of the Teton PowWow at the Teton County Fairgrounds will mark the beginning of CWC’s first PowWow honoring and celebrating American Indian culture and history.
CWC’s powwow is student-run by the Riverton Campus’ United Tribe Club, so it’s a little less formal but no less spectacular. The dancing lasts all day, from the grand entrance at noon until 6 p.m. And while it’s going on, an American Indian art, crafts and foods will be available for purchase alongside educational opportunities to learn more about our neighboring tribes. The public is encouraged to come at 11, when the entrance is open, to browse through the booths and find a good place to sit and view the day’s events.
A powwow is a social gathering of tribal members as well as a competition of dance and music; but is also an increasingly valuable expression of identity. Tribal members from various tribes come together to compete in various dance forms where each perform a dance, and each dance is partnered with traditional, corresponding regalia. From headdresses to shawls, the attire is as expressive as the movement and associated with a particular dance form. At the end of the day, judges will be selected to choose the winners for each specific category.
Jackson sits just over two hours from the fifth-largest American Indian reservation in the country, but the native history of Teton County can sometimes feel worlds away. Thanks to help from the Town of Jackson and CWC’s Jackson campus, American Indians from neighboring communities and from right here in Jackson will proudly display their heritage at the Teton County Fairgrounds.
The Teton PowWow is free to the public and is cosponsored by the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, Wyoming Humanities, and the Town of Jackson.
Wyoming Humanities has developed a handout about etiquette at powwows which reminds viewers that this is a tradition that honors a rich heritage by bringing together many different tribes and community to celebrate their culture through dance, song and socializing.
The entrances are open at 11 AM and the Teton PowWow Grand Entry begins at noon on September 21 in the grassy area at Teton County Fairgrounds. For more information, please contact CWC-Jackson Director Susan Durfee at 307-200-6150 or firstname.lastname@example.org.