Dance for Mother Earth 2013
The Great Lakes region is the home of the Three Fires--the Ojibwe, Ottawa, and Potawatomi people--and for forty-one years now, more than 1,000 of North America's greatest singers, dancers, artists, and craftspeople have traveled to Ann Arbor for the Dance for Mother Earth Powwow. This is the largest Native gathering in the Midwest and one of the largest university-related powwows in the country.
All powwows begin with a "grand entry." Dancers, dressed in stunning regalia, line up by dance style and age. Spectators are asked to rise as the eagle staffs and flags representing nations, families, and communities are brought in. The head veteran, George Martin, leads the way in his traditional regalia.
The emcee announces the dancers in each category as they pass his table, his voice booming loud and clear above the singing and drums. Each drum group, with its own distinct singing and drumming styles, passes around the circle until the center is filled with brilliant colors and jingling sounds in rhythm with the drums.