I haven’t been much for truly embracing my Native American heritage. While my ancestors came from Oklahoma (by way of the Trail of Tears) and I’m a card-carrying member of the Cherokee Nation, I grew up in Los Angeles. There is a thriving native culture in Los Angeles, but my mother never got involved with it. Hence, I usually look at it from afar. Every once in awhile, though, the drums will sound in my ear and I’ll need to dig a little deeper into who I am. As my sister, who is very much in to pow wow culture, had just visited me, I thought I would take a jaunt to a local pow wow to check it out.
For those who don’t know, pow wows are gatherings of Native Americans to dance, commune, sing, eat and celebrate Native American cultures. These are multi-nation (Indian nation) gatherings. People from many different tribes come together. All are welcome, even non-natives. In fact, for select dances, everyone may be invited into the arena to dance, even those not in regalia.
While I didn’t dance, I did eat. A very non-native ice cream and a traditional “Indian” taco, which has taco fillings on a piece of fry bread. Yum!
I was dressed in very non-native attire.
It was nice to take a moment, listen to the music and enjoy an afternoon appreciating my heritage.