Powwows have long been central to the life of many Native American tribes as times when members of the community gather to feast, dance, socialize and, in general, celebrate their shared culture. In Boise this week, the Seven Arrows Powwow will combine handcrafts, demonstrations and fierce competition among practitioners of Native American dance and drumming, open to tribal and nontribal members alike.
Boise State University's Multicultural Student Services will host the 21st annual competition in the Student Union's Jordan Ballroom, with the Grand Entry occurring at noon.
For those unfamiliar with a powwow grand entry, it marks the official start of the event, when elders who have served in the Armed Forces are honored with a stately procession. Adding to the pageantry are various flags representing each of the tribes in attendance. Following behind are the dance and drum competitors.
The powwow has drawn more than 2,500 spectators in previous years, and Boise State works hard to ensure the event remains true to the Native American tradition.
Once the competitions get started, dancers and drummers go head-to-head in various age brackets, both for bragging rights and prize money.
A wide variety of vendors will also be on hand, selling everything from beads to knives and jewelry. Winners of the powwow dance and drum competitions will be announced on Saturday evening.
The Multicultural Center is joined by Red River Powwow, the MLK Human Rights Committee and Intertribal Native Council of Boise State University in hosting the event.