Nearly 400 Wacipi Dancers are competing this weekend in the UND Indian Association Wacipi Powwow. Dancers come from all over the US and Canada, but primarily the midwest. There will also be 9 invited drumming groups, coming from as far as Connecticut. Dancing and drumming are an important part of American Indian culture and the dances have both strong personal and spiritual dimensions. In addition to the drumming and dancing is honoring. According to Johnette Gillis, the Wacipi coordinator, "Honoring specials is a way for those going through a transition in their lives to give back to the community and say "thank you" to those who have helped them along the way." This weekend will include graduation honoring, and the ones I've seen in the past were marked by the graduate giving gifts to those who were important and helpful to him or her, and is quite a moving ceremony!
Even though some of these shots may look like people are "standing around" they definitely are not! These are most definitely action shots, with this entire gym in a blur of motion, to the sound of the drums. It's all quite stunning and moving!
Oops! I forgot to add this, about yesterday's post: In yesterday's post, my "what is it?" is a stone lion statue. If you look closely at the buildingon the Mizzou campus in the photos above the lion, you'll see that there are two these lions in the archway. This is the history behind the lions:
School of Journalism Lions — Two stone lions located in the J-School archway, a gift from the Chinese government in 1931, were carved at the birthplace of Confucius and are more than 600 years old. Walter Williams, who started the world's first school of journalism at Mizzou in 1908, made certain that the Missouri Method reached students outside the U.S. by training journalists from China and bringing a World Press Congress to Missouri.
Earlier this year (February), I posted a picture of a statue I have at home. tomboymamma had written this comment: "I believe your statue is a Chinese fu dog (sometimes spelled foo dog) which is really an imperial lion (guardian)."
In case you can't make out the detail clearly enough to read the inscription above the archway, here are the words: