Kauai Powwow marks 16 years

Native American drumming, dancing, food and arts and crafts.

It’s all on tap this weekend at the 16th annual Kauai Powwow at Kapaa Beach Park.

“The powwow is a time when Native Americans come together to celebrate their culture. It is a cultural and educational celebration of Native American heritage sharing traditional dances, stories and drum songs,” Dr. Kani Blackwell, president of the Kauai Powwow Council, said.

This year’s theme continues as “Rejuvenate Your Spirit: Embracing Our Culture and Tradition,” which Blackwell says is “truly what happens” when people join in the dancing and participate in the powwow.

“People need to experience this event firsthand to enhance their own knowledge and to understand what it means to people who were First Americans,” Blackwell said.

Today, Kauai school children will take part in an outreach school program from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Lydgate Beach Park Pavilion. 

Later this evening, the event moves to Kapaa Beach Park with the Indigenous Drum Gathering from 6 to 9 p.m. Gates open at 4 p.m. with vendors and food. The evening will conclude with a drum circle, and those who are interested in participating are encouraged to bring their own drum. 

On Saturday and Sunday, powwow festivities run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Grand Entry begins at 11 a.m. with the Color Guard, Native American Women Warriors, representing all branches of the military throughout our nation. 

The Grand Entry is presenting the flags and honoring those who have served in the military and our elders who have walked the paths before us, states a release for the event. All Native Americans in their regalia participate in the Grand Entry. 

Blackwell said she is looking forward to having an eagle dancer and singer for the first time from the Hopi Tribe of Arizona.

“I get chicken skin just mentioning this,” she said. 

Throughout the powwow, there will be drumming, dancing, storytelling, traditional foods, silent auction, Native American and Hawaiian arts and crafts, and a keiki booth with games and activities. 

Admission is free.

For more information call Kaplan Bunce at 647-4285, visit kauaipowwow.com or email kauaipowwow@gmail.com.

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