#8 – Pow Wow WOW

Have you ever had a once in a lifetime experience?  You know….a WOW moment that would be very difficult to duplicate.

This past weekend while on a girls trip to New Mexico, we came upon an authentic Native American Pow Wow.   The only word that can describe it is WOW.

Taos Pow Wow 1 Taos Pow Wow 2

Taos Pow Wow 3

The trip was very spontaneous.  When we found out that a Pow Wow was happening about 60 miles from where we were staying in Santa Fe, we packed our bags, checked out of the hotel and headed north…following the sound of a beating drum. 

Taos Pow Wow 4 

The goose bump part was the opening speech, introduced in English but delivered in one of the Pueblo languages.  Everyone was very quiet, listening with intensity to the words being spoken about culture and tradition and spirituality.  I couldn’t understand the words, but the aura of the crowd was unmistakable. 

Taos Pow Wow 5 Taos Pow Wow 6 Taos Pow Wow 7

Like any traditional fair or festival, there were arts and crafts for sale…

 Taos Pow Wow 20

good food…

Taos Pow Wow 15 Taos Pow Wow 9

and lots and lots of dancing.

 Taos Pow Wow 11Taos Pow Wow 12  Taos Pow Wow 13

And then it got dark under the arbor and it was time to pack our moccasins and go.

Taos Pow Wow 10

Absolutely amazing experience.

Regarding #8 in my battle of the UNs, “Travel and Make it Worthwhile” suggested by Jo, I declare you complete.  The UNs are definitely leaving my life.  I’m going to backtrack and complete #5 and #6 this weekend so that I can finish up all 12 tasks before the end of summer!  Also, it’s time for me to get back on a regular blogging schedule.   The recent spurt of travel is now over…back to regular programming. 

Have you ever been to a Pow Wow or experienced a traditional culture up close? 

If you liked this post, you may also like Folking Around.

30 responses to this post.

  1. Fantastic. Drum beats are important.


  2. Yes, WOW! Sounds like quite the experience, Tracy. Some of the pics you took are really gorgeous! You’re not taking it with your cell phone, are you? You’ve got a good eye 🙂

    When I was a child we visited a place that exhibits the Zulu culture. It was a whole experience of their huts, the cooking methods, the clothing, dancing, jewelry/beads, etc. Unfortunately I don’t know what happened to the pictures and the memories were squashed by many other things since 😦 But it was quite the educational experience. If I had to do it over as an adult I would take many more pictures and ensure that they are kept to be looked at again as a reminder of the occasion. I wonder how much of those traditions are still in tact as times have changed…

    Divine corn on the cob! One of my favourites 🙂


    • My friends and I only took one camera because there was a $10 camera fee! Every camera had to have a tag on it showing that the fee was paid. Totally worth it though, as the pictures did turn out good. Have a GREAT weekend!


  3. Not getting notifications your posts nor from anyone else to whom I subscribe. Any suggestions? Did changing my format affect this?


    • I have no idea, Carl. Maybe unsubscribe and then re-subscribe. Maybe that will help. Good luck!


      • Got it fixed. Everyone was spammed. I don’t know how. Have 800 emails to go through. We have those Native American Indian festivals in South Florida. The feathers are blue and orange and pink. Pretty phony unless they get them from parrots or something.


        • Glad you fixed it! Parrots – Bwahahahahahha! I’m pretty sure the feathers they used in New Mexico were more authentic to the culture. There were rabbit furs for sale, too. Needless to say, I didn’t buy any.

  4. I HAVE been to a PowWow and it is spectacular!!! Loved your pictures!!! I did a week of volunteer work at Rosebud Reservation in Mission, SD and that was one thing we got to attend at the end of the week. We actually went to 2 of them and it was fabulous! So meaningful and colorful. I devoted the whole week on my blog to the Lakota experiences I had and have been an advocate ever since. Thanks for sharing!!! Fabulous pics!!!


    • Volunteering sounds like a GREAT experience! The pow wow I went to was some sort of invitational hosted by the Taos Pueblo in NM and different tribes from all over the region came for a dance competition. It was totally cool and very educational just by taking it all in.


  5. Wow! Wow! Wow!

    First of all….these photos are AMAZING, Tracy! And I just LOVE how you have them arranged in this post!

    Seriously, I got excited (wowed) just from energy coming off the images.

    I have such a fascination and admiration for the American Indian culture. It’s truly beautiful, so I would have LOVED this!

    Many years ago, I had a healing session with an Indian shaman. It truly was one of the most remarkable experiences I’ve ever had. One of these days I should post about it on my blog.

    Thanks so much for sharing this, girl. I sooooo enjoyed this post. And was sooooo glad to see that you had posted. You’ve been very missed!


    P.S. that last photo is A+


    • Pow wow wasn’t actually on my bucket list, but I’ve since added it AND scratched it off. How sly of me. You DEFINITELY should post about the shaman experience – it’s something probably very few have done and would be TOTALLY interesting to read about. THANKS for missing me – awwwe – you are so sweet to say that. The past few weeks have been crazy busy with a work trip and a vacation back to back. I’m home now, so I should be back to my regular posting schedule next week!


  6. I love attending pow wows…touches something incredibly sacred in me. Thank you so much for sharing this.


    • Have you been to many? I actually did something more “sacred” than the pow wow on my trip, which I will write about soon. Stay tuned….


  7. This is AMAZING! I would love to experience this! (= I have seen a lot of cool stuff in my travels– but I really appreciate these human moments the most!


    • Add it to your must-do list, Jo. It was really amazing. THANKS for the suggestion to do worthwhile travel. Not sure exactly what you meant by “worthwhile” so I hope the pow wow met expectations!


  8. Posted by Bonnie on July 14, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    This looks like an absolutely amazing PowWow!! And what gorgeous pictures you took. 🙂


  9. Oh wow! What beautiful photos. Looks like a great time. 🙂


  10. I haven’t been to a pow-wow but I love your photos and drums. Tnight I attended a Tibetan festival – very cool and lots of chanting.


    • That sounds so interesting Tammy! I remember watching an interview with Tina Turner when she said she converted to Buddhism, and she chanted in her Tina voice. I’m sure your experience was MUCH better than me watching Tina on TV!


  11. Posted by pattisj on July 15, 2011 at 12:20 am

    I’ve never been to one, but I saw signs regarding one a couple years ago on one of our weekend jaunts. I wasn’t aware that anyone could attend. Might have to check into that. Your photos of the experience are excellent, thanks for sharing. Good news on the UNs, too!


  12. Hi Patti – if you pass another sign, do check it out. I’m not sure if some are private and others are public, but if you have the chance to see one, it will be worth the effort of asking!


  13. What an amazing experience, rich in so many ways. I’d say you and your friends made a great choice attending the Pow-Wow, it looks fascinating!


  14. It is such an incredible experience, isn’t it? I remember the first pow wow I went to in our community. It was…amazing. The snow falling outside. The rhythm of the drums. The flash of leather and fringe. The energy.


    • Posted by Susan on July 17, 2011 at 10:33 am

      I never imagined a pow wow happening in winter…but it would be amazing…all that color contrasted against the whiteness of the snow. Very cool.


  15. Wow, amazing.

    I have never been to a Pow Wow but I’d like to check one out someday.


  16. Posted by Kalli on July 18, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    i have never experienced anything like this though i bet it was incredible. i have always wanted to experience a sweat lodge though.


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