Colorado State University Hosts 16th Annual Powwow

Colorado State University will celebrate the beginning of summer at its 16th annual Powwow May 3-4 on the west lawn of the Lory Student Center on campus.

The Powwow, sponsored by the Native American Student Association, is free and open to the public. Traditional food, Native American jewelry, art and clothing will be on sale. Raffle prizes will include hand-made rugs, Native American art, pottery and jewelry.

Traditionally, powwows are a way to give thanks for bountiful harvests or to celebrate the beginning of summer. At Colorado State, powwows help unify Native American students who come to the university from across the United States. Powwows also bring awareness of Native American culture and tradition to the campus and community.

The brightly colored dress and rhythm of the drums intrigue the audience and pull them into the performances, said Aaron Benally, an event organizer. The event is not only interesting to watch, but it also encourages the public to learn more about the culture.

The Powwow will open with the grand entry, in which each dancer, adorned in native dress, enters the room to begin the festivities. The grand entry is considered one of the most dynamic events of the Powwow.

Powwows generally last close to 10 hours and are full of traditional Native American music and dance. One of the many dances to be performed at the Powwow is the Gourd Dance, a ceremony that honors war veterans.

Gourd Dances will take place at 10 a.m. May 3 on the west lawn, with grand entries beginning at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. The program May 4 will be in the Main Ballroom of the Lory Student Center, with gourd dancing at 10 a.m. and a grand entry at 1 p.m.

The event is sponsored by the Native American Student Association, Native American Student Services, American Indian Science and Engineering Society, Associated Students of Colorado State University and the City of Fort Collins’ Fort Fund.

Free parking will be available in the Moby Arena parking lot with disabled parking in the lot north of the student center.

For more information, call Native American Student Services at (970) 491-1332.