Veterans of Viet Nam, Afghanistan, and Iraq--Haskell Pow Wow Grounds 2011.
Gentle Readers of This Blog: Little Egypt has set to deploy for a year long mission which will take her to Iraq. This deployment was known to us and her Kansas Battalion has already left for Ft. Hood, Texas. She will join them shorty and in a few week they will probably go to Kuwait and then on to the Baghdad area.
It has been a few years since I've been to a Pow Wow, mes amis. Rarely if ever do I dance, but as this was a special welcome to new students at Haskell--and since the Veterans, past and present, are always remembered--I was invited to be with Little E in the Grand Entry. Little Egypt will retain her faculty position at Haskell--but here friends and colleagues wanted to pay special gratitude and offer blessings and support.
The Drums and Singers unite all people.
When you hear the drums and step out in the cool September air--and you feel the drums moving through and into you--somehow the sky and the and the sun and the grass under your feet, and everything seems to sync with the rhythm.. You feel happy, and you know that you are part of everything alive--and it is sacred. The Drums humble you, Gentle Reader.
Honoring the Warriors--the Color Guard will lead the Pow Wow.
A Warrior is someone of the People--no matter what tribe, no matter what nation--who has come forward to defend The People when that time befalls. In times of War, be it on a battle field or standing up for rights and justice--what is remembered, I believe, is the courage and discipline and inner strength a person must have to face the unknown. The confusion, the dullness, the terror, the loneliness, the pain--Death and Death's random pick of who will live and who will perish--those thoughts and to survive them must mean Warriors like Little Egypt must remain focused.
Cars, like ponies, stand around and seem to be enjoying the pow wow as well.
James--a respected Elder.
One of our friends from Haskell, James, helped get the Honor Dance for Little Egypt set up--which was a surprise for my wife as she is very modest and private, as most Navajo are, and not about drawing attention to herself. But the Veterans want to do this for her so she agrees to participate.
James and Little Egypt--James is a Marine and Viet Nam Veteran, on the staff at Haskell, well known and loved by the students.
Now this is a War Pony!
Waiting for the Pow Wow to begin--Running on Indian Time, mes amis!
Rico and I are are pretty nervous to be right up front with the Color Guard during the Grand Entry--this is traditionally the spot reserved only for the Veterans. As we are family members, we are invited to join the Warriors.
My thing I'm sorta hung up about is that I don't look Indian. In the 1890's my Scot-Irish ancestors married Cherokee and Choctaw women in my native Oklahoma, as the girls families had land.
As far as I know I have Great Uncles (my Great Grandfather Bruce's older brothers) that married Indian woman, but I don't know as I have met any of them. The Wardlaws--the Great Uncles of my Grandmother, I have met some of those Wardlaw Choctow--I remember they were tall women with pure white skin, with green or blue eyes, and raven black hair. They said we were related but I'm not sure--
We relax before the Grand Entry--seeing Little Egypt in uniform again makes me aware that she will be leaving for Iraq soon--like the days before when she got ready to go to Afghanistan. She was in Afghanistan for two years, 2006 through 2008--they were two very long years.
Haskell Pow Wow Grounds. All are welcome!
I see students and faculty, and I see a lot of Indian students I've seen up at KU too. Besides the students and faculty, Indians living in the community are here as well. All are welcome--but I of course feel like the only white guy. Ha ha ha its okay because, Gentle Reader, All Are Welcome! No matter nationality, race, color, tribe--because this is a time and place of Friendship and Being Thankful.
When You Dance--You Become Your Ancestors!
Good Luck Little Egypt--Take Care! We will send Good Thought and Feelings Your Way!