Gathering at the Falls Pow Wow

Every year, Native Americans from all over come to Spokane for the Gathering at the Falls Pow Wow, a competitive dance pow wow. I've been meaning to go to the Pow Wow for years, but the great thing about doing this Artist's Eye on Spokane project is that it gets me out there, doing the things I might never actually get around to doing. 

 I watched this dancer get the final touches put on his face paint before he put on his feather bustle and strode off for the grand entrance.

I watched this dancer get the final touches put on his face paint before he put on his feather bustle and strode off for the grand entrance.

 This feather bustle was resting on one of the fences while I sketched it. I think these are turkey feathers, but I'm not sure. The animal medallion in the center was intricately beaded.

This feather bustle was resting on one of the fences while I sketched it. I think these are turkey feathers, but I'm not sure. The animal medallion in the center was intricately beaded.

 This sketch depicts one of several drum circles providing music for the dancers. Everyone is crammed so tightly together you can hardly see the drum, but their drumsticks were a constant waving rhythm. The fiery colors in the far right corner is an unused feather bustle resting in a blue wagon. One gentleman was drumming while on his cellphone! I wonder if the person on the other line could hear him at all?

This sketch depicts one of several drum circles providing music for the dancers. Everyone is crammed so tightly together you can hardly see the drum, but their drumsticks were a constant waving rhythm. The fiery colors in the far right corner is an unused feather bustle resting in a blue wagon. One gentleman was drumming while on his cellphone! I wonder if the person on the other line could hear him at all?

 The frenetic energy and constant movement of the dancers made capturing them in action very tricky. I focused on the open, non-competition dances which were more about community and thus tended to be a little slower paced. As dancers came around toward me I would start trying to get them down on paper, finishing as they walked away from me, thus why this sketch is from the back. A fun side effect of choosing the open dances is the variety of regalia that everyone was wearing. 

The frenetic energy and constant movement of the dancers made capturing them in action very tricky. I focused on the open, non-competition dances which were more about community and thus tended to be a little slower paced. As dancers came around toward me I would start trying to get them down on paper, finishing as they walked away from me, thus why this sketch is from the back. A fun side effect of choosing the open dances is the variety of regalia that everyone was wearing. 

 At the Gathering at the Falls Pow Wow, the next Pow Wow royalty had to be chosen. These girls are giving their speeches about why they should get picked to be Pow Wow princesses. The gentleman dressed in red in the next images was one of two of what I think were the judges.

At the Gathering at the Falls Pow Wow, the next Pow Wow royalty had to be chosen. These girls are giving their speeches about why they should get picked to be Pow Wow princesses. The gentleman dressed in red in the next images was one of two of what I think were the judges.

     

 

 

 Here's a little montage of my sketching over the afternoon. It was a hot day and a bit of challenge, but I'm glad I finally made it out to the Gathering at the Falls Pow Wow. The music, dancing, and regalia were all amazing!

Here's a little montage of my sketching over the afternoon. It was a hot day and a bit of challenge, but I'm glad I finally made it out to the Gathering at the Falls Pow Wow. The music, dancing, and regalia were all amazing!