Kauai hosted it’s annual Pow Wow in Kapaa this past weekend, and the theme was “Drum, the heartbeat of the people.” In honor of this theme, all indiginous drummers were invited to participate, and Auntie Ilima Rivera’s Keiki Halau performed traditional Tahitian dances during a break in the ceremony.
With my two grandsons in tow (age 2 and 3) we found a spot in the shade and arrived just before the opening ceremony on Saturday. I attend the Pow Wow almost every year, when I hear the drums and the chanting it never fails to bring tears to my eyes. It’s as if the drum resonates with my heart in ways I don’t fully understand.
Although raised in all white middle America, I do know my grandmother was raised on the Omaha reservation. It’s hard to tell with American family histories, what our real ancestory is. During my mother and grandmother’s day, it was dangerous to acknowledge diversity. My mother comments on how often people thought her mother was Indian – ya think? But to respect where she comes from growing up in the early 20th century, I’m sure all of that history was wiped out to create an “easier” life for the children. None the less, roots do have a way of sneaking through the best deceptions… as I learn about Native American culture, I’ve seen many shadows of the ways of my mother and grandmother. As the elders pray – “for all my relations.” All of life is connected, and that’s the rhythm I hear – the rhythm of life.
Opening ceremony was led by Native American veterans of 4 major wars.
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The prayers, rememberances of the deceased and celebrations of life were good reminders of what’s really of value.
(posted on Kauai Pow Wow site)
May the sun bring you new energy by day
May the moon softly restore you by night
May the rain wash away your worries
May the breeze blow new strength into your being
May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.