Drumming to the Beat of History

Walking into McGuirk arena on March 22 and 23, 2014 transported spectators to an area of vibrant colors and astonishing sounds. The 2014 CMU Pow Wow drew thousands of people to Central Michigan University’s Campus.

Most spectators focus their attention to the center of the pow wow where dancers of all ages perform a variety of dances. The competitors move with the music as they dance and the costumes themselves seem to have their own connection to the beat of the drum as they sway, jingle and move to the music. Without the songs of the drumming groups, the dancers would have no beat to dance to.

Like the dancers, drumming and singing groups are also competing for a prize at the pow wow. The songs they sing are original pieces, made in a variety of ways by members of the group. Matthew and Nathan Isaac of Crazy Spirit and Greg Dayfox of Big Sun share their experience of being in one of these groups. Each song has a message, and inspire the dancers and spectators around them. The distinguishable sounds of the pow wow fuels the curiosity of others to glimpse into the Native American culture, and the deeper meanings behind the songs hold important messages for all.



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