Oneida Nation Pow Wow combines song, dance, and culture

Posted: 10:41 PM, Jul 06, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-06 23:41:23-04
Oneida Pow Wow combines song, dance, and culture
Oneida Pow Wow combines song, dance, and culture

It's an entrance like no other.

In the course of a few hours, the sights and sounds of the Oneida Nation get put on full display.

"We got traditional dancers, different age groups from children, teenagers, adult, seniors," Oneida Nation Veteran Thomas Webster said.

Each dancer at the Oneida Nation Pow Wow is unique in style and variety.

"It's all how you were brought up and where you were brought up," Webster said.

The background and interpretation from each person then creates a dance unique to the individual.

"There's no right way and wrong way,” Webster said. “It's how you feel when you're out there."

Keeping each dancer moving and together is the beat of a common drum.

"Listen to the beat of the drum,” Webster explained. “That's all you got to do. That drum will tell you when to put your foot up and down."

The grand entrance to the Pow Wow and the days that follow are not about the differences in style and dance, but rather the beat that unites them.

"This Pow Wow is all about different people coming together."

Part of that includes a full collection of culture. Circling the Pow Wow grounds are spectacular displays of crafts and art. Many of the pieces are made by hand by the people that help complete the experience.

"You know you're going to meet some great people, swap some stories, and have a good time," vendor Rosa McCormack said.

Together, it’s a good feeling and a special experience for the Oneida Nation and its guests.

"When you go to their house, you do what they want you to do,” Webster said. “When they come to our house, they do what we want them to do."

At the Oneida Pow Wow, that request is simple.

"Just enjoy themselves," Webster said.