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A dance of honor to bring cultures together

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal The Red Hoop Singers perform during an inner tribal dance at the Ahm Shuck Goom Em Thee (spring awakening) Powwow on Saturday.
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It was a chance to reconnect with friends and family, see new arrivals and remember those who past. It was a chance to gain knowledge and information about health and services available to all. Mostly though, it was a chance to dance.

More than 350 people spent their Saturday afternoon absorbing the food and the cultures during the Spring Awakening Powwow at the Carson Indian Colony.

The event served several purposes, from providing a way to continue the culture of the native peoples to promoting between the American Indian and Hispanic peoples.

“We are just amazed,” said Debbie Painter, event organizer. “This turnout is awesome, it’s more than we expected. We thought it would be lower because of the weather.”

Aside from the native dances and music, the powwow also featured booths providing a variety of information on numerous health and assistance services available in Carson City. There were also vendors selling Indian tacos, nachos and a variety of pastries.

An Indian Taco sale was held Wednesday to help pay for the event. They sold more than 300 tacos to Carson City residents, raising more than $1,200 for the powwow.

A. Brian Wallace, chairman of the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, said powwows continue the traditions of the tribe.

“It’s a wonderful day for the communities to come together,” he said. “These are essential to our survival. By keeping these traditions alive, it allows us to raise a generation of children like these mountains.”

Lenard Watson, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe, drove from Fallon to dance in the powwow. Watson has been dancing for 12 years and dresses in northern traditional style, including a buffalo head.

“I dance for my people and for the elders to keep our traditions alive,” Watson said. “I hope people take away the sacredness of the circle and honoring of the families and the community.”

New to the event was the addition of several Hispanic musical groups, to incorporate and bring together different cultures. While the morning was primarily drums and Washoe dances, the afternoon featured musical groups from Peru and Mexico City.

With the success of the event, Painter said she is hopeful to see it grow in future years and be able to provide even more information and entertainment to the public.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at jshipley@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.