It's a way to bring cultures together and provide a stage for one of their most important aspects, the way they express themselves. Now, it also serves as a conduit to provide information about healthy living.
The second annual Ahm Shuck Goom Em Thee, or Spring Awakening, social powwow will take place Saturday in the Carson Colony Gym, 2900 South Curry Street. The powwow will feature drum and dance groups from across the country with dancers ranging in age from 3 to over 80.
"We want families to go out and have fun, bring friends and just have a good time," Debbie Painter, event organizer, said.
The focus of the powwow is healthy living, and a variety of organizations will be on hand to provide information about health topics including heart health, diabetes and drug awareness.
"Health has always been an issue with me and our kids have always been dancing, so it seems like a good idea to combine the two," Painter said. "There is an educational factor as well, a lot of people in the area don't know about the gatherings or think they can't participate."
Frank Grayshield, a zero tolerance coordinator, will provide the keynote speech on combating methamphetamine use.
A new addition to the event this year is several Hispanic dances, added to incorporate other cultures and promote tolerance.
"There is a need in the community to become united," said Javier Ramirez, citizen outreach coordinator. "There is a lack of knowledge of other cultures that we need to work on."
Hispanic groups from Peru, Columbia and Mexico will share traditional dances and music during the event.
A sweat lodge will also be available, however organizers warn that because of the high temperatures in the lodge, choosing to do it without first understanding what is involved could be dangerous.
The powwow also includes a free dinner, including elk and bison meat, beginning at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
To help provide funding for the powwow, the group is holding an Indian taco sale from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday at the colony. Tacos can be eaten there, taken to go and free delivery is available in Carson City. Raffle tickets will also be on sale for items including beadwork, Native American CDs, gift cards and other donated items. For information or to order tacos, call 841-3182.
• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1217.