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A 30-year tradition continues this weekend at one of the summer’s biggest cultural celebrations

Exploring the rich history of Dayton and the Miami Valley must go hand in hand with education about the Native American history that ultimately shaped our region.

Hosted by the Miami Valley Council for Native Americans, the 30th Annual Keeping the Tradition Pow Wow at SunWatch Indian Village is one of the best opportunities to immerse yourself into the colorful and deeply-rooted traditions woven into the core of the Miami Valley. 

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2018 will be the 30th year for the Keeping the Tradition Pow Wow. (Contributed)

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“For contemporary Native Americans, Pow Wow represents an opportunity to honor their shared culture, to celebrate traditions with ancient roots, and enter the circle with honor and respect for each other and the ever-present drum,” according to a SunWatch press release. 

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Men and women spend weeks preparing full traditional regalia — complete with long, weed-like fringe that is worn for the historic Grass Dance. The Grass Dance is a competition, as the seasoned performers have great pride in the beauty of this ceremony. 

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While the men perform the Grass Dance, the women shine during the traditional shawl and jingle dances— dressed in brightly-colored ensembles and demonstrate syncopated dance steps with fast, whirling rhythms.

2018 will be the 30th annual Keeping the Tradition Pow Wow. (Contributed)

“Community celebrations like this, which include music, food and dance, are the kind of gatherings that communicate across cultures,” said Andy Sawyer, Site Manager and Site Anthropologist at SunWatch. “Year after year MVCNA members continue to show their commitment to keeping those traditions by harvesting willow branches and other materials to construct the traditional arbor, and putting in days of work to host this event at SunWatch.”

Keeping the Tradition Pow Wow at SunWatch Indian Village. (Contributed)

This year’s festival schedule is as follows:

Saturday:

11:00 a.m. Entertainment TBA 

Noon Grand Entry - Flag Song - Victory Song - Prayer - Posting of the Staff and colors - Veterans Song 

12:30 p.m. Intertribal and Special dances 

4:45 p.m. Retreat of Staffs and Colors 

5:00 p.m. Dinner Break: Entertainment TBA 

6:00 p.m. Grand Entry - Flag Song - Victory Song - Prayer - Posting of the Staffs and Colors 

6:30 p.m. Intertribal and Special dances 

8:30 p.m. Retreat of Staffs and Colors 

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Sunday:

11:00 a.m. Entertainment TBA 

Noon Grand Entry - Flag Song - Victory Song - Prayer - Posting of the Staffs and Colors - Veterans Song 

12:30 p.m. Intertribal and Special dances 

4:45 p.m. Retreat of Staff and Colors

WANT TO GO?

WHAT: 30th Annual Keeping the Tradition Pow Wow
WHEN: 12 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. Saturday, June 23 & 12 p.m.- 5 p.m. Sunday, June 24

WHERE: SunWatch Indian Village, 2301 West River Rd., Dayton

INFO & ADMISSION: 937.268.8199 | www.sunwatch.org

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