Ku-Ah-Mah will host powwow this weekend

Event will feature music, dancing, food; performances will highlight Native American traditions, culture



Dancers from various tribes will perform in traditional regalia at Ku-Ah-Mah’s annual powwow Friday and Saturday. The event is open to the public free of charge. The first grand entry will be at 7 p.m. Friday in Beasley Coliseum.

EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen mint editor

The WSU Native American Student Organization, Ku-Ah-Mah, is hosting its 42nd annual Pah-Loots-Puu powwow on Friday and Saturday at Beasley Coliseum, which is open to students and the public free of charge.

“Powwows are mainly where tribes gather to celebrate their culture, their history, their regalia,” said Chantel Hill, the powwow vendor chair and co-chair of Ku-Ah-Mah. “Each tribe is different and there will be many different people from many different tribes.”

The powwow will feature music and various traditional dances, performed by different tribes and age groups. Handmade Native American crafts and jewelry will be available for purchase. The event will also have a frybread stand and concession booth at Beasley, said Jacklyn Brendible, co-chair of Ku-Ah-Mah.

“It’s an opportunity to get exposed to culture,” said Faith Price, director of Native American Student Services. “There will be an emcee that explains some of what’s happening. You can learn a little bit.”

The event begins at 7 p.m. Friday with a grand entrance when all dancers enter and perform at the same time, Hill said. There are also grand entries at noon and 6 p.m. Saturday.

“That’s when you can see all the dancers at once, so that would be the best time to come,” Hill said.

There are dances that crowd members can participate in, Price said.

In addition to the dance and musical performances, Ku-Ah-Mah will host multiple vendors on the concourse in Beasley. Jewelry, brass, paintings and other homemade products will be exhibited and available for purchase.

“There’s a variety of different kinds … it’s kind of like a Native American market,” Hill said. “You can actually go and buy authentic jewelry made by Native Americans.”

Students in Ku-Ah-Mah have worked since last school year to plan the powwow. Last year was the first year in decades it hasn’t occurred, Brendible said.

“It takes quite a bit of time and there are a lot of people involved,” Brendible said. “It’s just a place to meet new people, eat good food … there’s a ton of stuff you can watch.”

Tribes from around the region are traveling to participate in the powwow. President Kirk Schulz and many local tribes have donated money or items for the event, Brendible said.

The event is open to the public and people of all backgrounds are welcome.

“The public is encouraged to come,” Price said. “It doesn’t matter if they’ve never been to a powwow before.”

Students are encouraged to attend the celebration to see the culmination of Ku-Ah-Mah’s work.

“It is something you should try and go and experience the Native heritage,” Brendible said. “You can learn so much about our culture by going to this … it’s a really cool opportunity to learn about students that go to WSU.”