Descendants of Iowa’s oldest residents are hosting an event this weekend that showcases their cultural traditions. Karen Old Bear is coordinator of the 93rd annual Meskwaki Pow Wow being held today and Sunday in Tama. She says there are several different tribal ceremonial dances that will be performed — some that have religious roots, others that are more social.
Old Bear says "We have the Victory Dance. That’s to honor the soldiers or the veterans and just to invite everybody to make them feel welcome to our tribe. And the Buffalo Head Dance is a dance to when our people used to hunt the buffalo."
Other dances on the schedule include: the Friendship Dance, the Bean or Harvest Dance, the War Dance and the Swan Dance. Old Bear says the Meskwaki Pow Wow is the only one of its kind in Iowa, held on the state’s only Indian settlement.
Old Bear says "We always have our traditional costumes and then there are other tribes that come to our pow wows that have their traditional regalia on too, which is very colorful." She says it’s a time of hope, worship, reaffirmation and kinship.