The term Pow Wow is derived from the Algonquian term “pau-wau” or “pauau,” said Dr. Jane Ely of the Kaua‘i Pow Wow Council, Wednesday.
Ely, one of the coordinators for the Kaua‘i Pow Wow, was on hand to accept a commendation for her efforts at coordinating and organizing the free event which opens today and runs through Sunday at the Kapa‘a Beach Park.
The Algonquian term referred to a gathering of medicine men and spiritual leaders and “pau-wauing” referred to a religious ceremony, usually one of curing, states a powwow-power Web site.
Ely, described by council woman Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho as a minister, healer, teacher and dean of Peacemaker School encompasses prayer, meditation, spritual practices, environmental education, energy medicine and more, said the Kaua‘i Pow Wow Council which has been hosting the inter-tribal event for the past 11 years and as in the past, the public is invited to the event at no charge.
“Drum: The Heartbeat of the People” is the theme of this year’s event which will feature Native Americans from Arizona, California, Montana and from around Turtle Island, a term used to describe the Western hemisphere, Ely said.
Children are the heartbeat of the drum, and this year, the Northern Guest Drum are students from the Kree Unit, Chippewa Cree out of the Rocky Boy reservation in Montana.
The Southern Guest Drum are an inter-tribal group, Yellowfish Singers, from Arizona.
Hawai‘i has a lot of Native Americans living here, Ely said. The Pow Wow is a way for people to learn the different cultures of not only the Native American tribes, but the Hawaiians as well, as the Native Americans work with the Hawaiian nation in a cultural exchange.
Ilima Rivera serves as the Hawaiian cultural advisor and performer for this year’s pow wow.
A drum festival featuring the various tribal drums as well as Hawaiian drums will open the event Friday evening.
During the two-day event, visitors can expect to browse through Native American crafts, jewelry and other artifacts from the various vendors who come in from the different tribes.
Additionally, people can taste and sample the foods of the Native Americans, especially frybread.
Tom Jackson of the Ponca and Creek Tribes, Arizona, is the Head Man Dancer. Lisa Jefferson, of the Ponca and Salt River Pima-Maricopa, Arizona, and Vanessa Palmer, of the Ponca & White Mountain Apache, Arizona, are the Head Woman Dancers.
John Dawson of the Apache Nation, California, is the Master of Ceremonies with Danny McDaniel, Choctow in Hawai‘i, serving as the Arena Director.
Host drum is Wildhorse Singers, an inter-tribal group from Southern California.
For more information, call Dale Jacobs at 828-1294, or visit http://lightline.org/pow-wow/