One very striking thing about a Native American Wacipi (Pow Wow) is how cross generational it is. The elderly are definitely treated with respect. And teen girls are teen girls in any culture!
In these next two photos, I isolated my focal point by doing my usual Lab mode editing (increasing the contrast and brightness in Lab, and then converting back to RGB profile), then I created a lens blur layer, used the magnetic lassoo to select the focal point, created the inverse. Next, I masked another layer to this, and desaturated the background.
I did this to isolate the subject from the background so that all the beautiful background colors and action wouldn't compete so strongly with it.
One nice element included in the Wacipi Grand Finale is the presentation of University of North Dakota graduates. Students earning a degree this year walk around the arena, led by one of the elders (whom I believe is also a UND alumni). People from the audience, who know and love them, come forward and shake their hands.
Part of the graduation ceremony is also a ceremony in which graduates give gifts to others, whom they know, who have provided love and support in their studies, helping to make it possible. Sometimes it's blankets or quilts that are given. This is to provide thanks and appreciation. It's an acknowledgement that an accomplishment tends not to just represent the indvidual's hard work, but is in part a product of the whole community around the student.
The regalia (clothing) worn at a Wacipi is very symbolic, usually representing animals. I know very little about this symbolism, which is quite intricate, but I have heard that the clothing, and dancing, often depict baby birds, and the dance is a form of prayer calling for nurturance in the form of rain on spring crops.