I remember when I was little I truly disliked going to North Carolina. Granted by the time I got there I was fine because most of my cousins were there, but still was not a fan. I’d pack up some of my favorite Barbies in a Barbie traveling box (because I was fancy), as well as coloring books, and just a whole bunch of crap. Who knows how much I actually lost while down there but I felt I needed it.
The only time I didn’t go as crazy with it (Barbies always went…) was Powwow. It was a really big deal and I absolutely loved Powwow…still do. PowWow was such a big deal that we got to pick out a new outfit for the occasion…like it was Easter (maybe that’s just my family but Easter church you got new dress, shoes, hat, gloves, and frilly socks…big deal). For Powwow I’d always save up my pennies to buy trinkets that I thought was cool: dream catcher, kid drums, feather hair clips, cheap jewelry…pea shooters. I guess what I’m saying is it was more about being little and shopping around and eating fry bread.
Now it’s more of a chance to visit family (my family is HUGE),to get to know my elders and learn even more about our culture and traditions. To just…understand.
Does that make sense? I sure hope so.
So with that, I look forward to it even more.
As a child, as well as when I grew more into an adult, I never really got to go to Friday night Powwow. It was something I only got to experience when the stars aligned and spring break/Easter/Powwow ended up on the same weekend. So this year, I took off of both jobs from Thursday until Monday so I could experience as much as I could.
After my ride from hell, I was so excited for Friday Powwow. We went down to the Tribal school and set up shirts to sell (I generally volunteer at the tribal booth) and just waited for the opening prayer with lighting of the fire, presentation of the flags, and the opening inner tribal dance. Unfortunately Mother Nature had different plans and the wind whirled and there was down pour…but at least they got to open the Powwow officially on Friday. Come to think of it…I think it has been rained out at least 1 day for the past 3 years due to rain, hurricanes and tornados.
You know normal stuff for North Carolina…not.
Saturday and Sunday were kind if a blur. Just visiting, walking around, selling merchandise. During the weekend they have all sorts of contest, raffles, and competitions. From regalia (that’s the term used for outfits/attire) and art contest to dance and drum group competitions. It still fascinates me.
There’s also the food. Oh the food. I swear I was a carni in a former life. I love food if it comes off a cart, a food truck, or out of a booth. They have all sorts of things…bison meat, gator nuggets, chicken…just everything.The photo above is North Carolina BBQ with cole slaw on it. It’s amazing. My uncle also has a deluxe ice cream truck. I swear that thing has anything. Cotton candy, sno cones, popcorn machine, ice cream…even pickles. But I’m on a food tangent…let me get back to the the powwow.
On Sunday I took some real time to hang out with the family I don’t get to see all the time…which is part of my down/sad emotions. We went to watch the drums up close. It’s amazing how much you can feel them up close…the vibrations and just the spirit of them. I was there with my (much older) cousins and just enjoying it. And then the group played a song that they wrote for my cousin (my older cousins son). And it was such an emotional…out of self experience. Like he was there.
You see, he was killed in a drunk driving accident (not his fault) a few years back, and I don’t think any of us have still fully dealt with it. I mean…I know everyone handles loss differently and I just don’t know how to handle this particular one. I think I’m scared to…like dealing means forgetting.He was only 25 at the time of his passing and its just always more difficult to deal with something that’s so senseless and unfortunate. I guess what makes the whole ordeal even worse, for me, is that the accident occurred in my birthday so I can’t really escape the date or thoughts…but that’s just me. We were best friends and I always referred to him as my little brother.
So I guess now you can see why it was a mix if highs and lows…but I just felt so warm and so full inside. I’m not sure if any other way to put it- but I still wanted to share that with you all because it was a big part if my weekend. It’s hard to write about, hence the delay on this post, but maybe I’ll write more on it later. In good time.
By the end of Sunday Powwow and the dust settled (#pun) we packed up as much as possible and headed to my parents house. I had originally planned on going home Sunday so I could rest/decompress/ get ahold if my feelings Monday but I was just so damn tired I decided to stay. Something about being outside for hours just takes “get up and go” out of you.
Hopefully you all are enjoying these little travel post! I don’t think I travel a ton but I do get out some of the time. I have one last post for North Carolina coming up and after that who knows where I’ll be off to…
But until then- later lovies!!