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NASA powwow to be held Saturday

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

by Chase Harvick

In order to bring its powwow to a major venue, OSU’s Native American Student Association will combine what were previously fall and spring powwows into one large celebration.

The OSU Fall Powwow will be held Oct. 14 in Gallagher-Iba Arena from noon until 11 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and will include traditional American Indian dancing, drumming and other cultural activities. An authentic American Indian dinner will be provided.

According to NASA faculty adviser Stuart Sparvier, expected attendance is more than 2,000 people, significantly higher than the attendance of previous powwows.

According to the Powwow Etiquette Brochure, tribes with different languages had to adjust to communication barriers as they began to celebrate powwows together. The tradition is still observed today; powwow songs typically contain vocables, or sounds with no literal meaning, instead of lyrics.

Prizes will be awarded to the top child, adult and senior dancers. An open drum contest sponsored by the American Indian Chamber of Commerce also will be held.

Sparvier estimated 100 or more dancers will compete for the grand prizes of $200 in the tiny tots, junior and golden age categories, and $400 in the adult categories.  

“The dancing is as intense as any athletic competition I’ve ever seen,” Sparvier said.

Participants in the drumming competition will vie for a $900 grand prize.

In addition to the free performances and food, American Indian art and memorabilia will be on display and available for purchase from Native artisans.  

Sparvier invites all who have not attended a powwow and those who have to “come, sit, listen and appreciate the tradition and heritage represented.”

Additional sponsors of the powwow include the OSU Student Government Association, Ketchum House and Tulsa’s Cherokee Casino. For more information, contact Sparvier by calling 405-744-0401 or via e-mail at .   Also see the OSU Native American Student Association’s website at

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