Wednesday, June 9, 2010

29th annual Plains Indian Museum Powwow set for June 19-20 in Cody

News from the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody:

Vibrant Plains Indian cultural traditions—past and present—enliven the Buffalo Bill Historical Center this summer, with the 29th Annual Plains Indian Museum Powwow in June, two extraordinary special exhibitions, and the tenth anniversary of the reinstallation of the Plains Indian Museum, which reopened Powwow weekend in 2000 after a major reinterpretation.

The powwow takes place Saturday and Sunday, June 19 and 20, at the Robbie Powwow Garden on the Historical Center’s grounds, while inside the Center visitors can view "Splendid Heritage: Perspectives on American Indian Art," featuring over 140 objects of unique artistry and powerful cultural expression from the Northeastern Woodlands, Plateau, and Plains regions; and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Warriors: Photographs by Gertrude Käsebier, with original 1898 photographs of Native American performers of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West.

Master of Ceremonies for the powwow is Robert “Corky” Old Horn from Crow Agency, Montana. Leo “Chico” Her Many Horses from Ethete, Wyoming, returns as Arena Director along with Head Judge Garrett Goggles, also from Ethete. The Host Drum group is the Crazy Horse Singers from Oglala, South Dakota, with additional drum groups from Wyoming and Montana. The Apsaalooke Nation Guard from Crow Agency serves as Color Guard.

The Powwow draws men, women, and children from tribes across the Northern Plains. The dancers, in handcrafted regalia, compete for more than $30,000 in cash and other prizes. Competitive dance categories include traditional, jingle dress, fancy, grass, team dancing, tiny tots, and chicken dance. Spectators are invited to watch the competition and can also learn more about powwow dances, etiquette, traditions, and songs from Lakota educator Gloria Goggles at the Powwow Learning Tipi.

Saturday specials—winner-take all contests that give the dancers the opportunity to earn additional recognition and awards—include Men’s Traditional and Women’s Fancy Shawl (sponsored by Artie Yellowhorse); specials on Sunday include Chicken Dance and Team Dancing. Outside the dance arena 44 arts vendors exhibit and sell authentic beadwork, quillwork, Indian jewelry, basketry, pottery, clothing, paintings, sculpture, and more. Food concessions offer frybread and Indian tacos as well as burgers, brats, buffalo burgers, and soft drinks.

Grand entry times are noon and 6 p.m. on Saturday, and noon on Sunday. Tickets are good for one day only and must be purchased at the gate. Admission is $7 for adults 18 and older, $3 for youths 7 to 17, and free for children 6 and younger. Historical Center members receive a one dollar discount with presentation of their membership card. The Robbie Powwow Garden is an outdoor grass amphitheater with limited bleacher seating; visitors may bring their own lawn chairs or blankets.

The Plains Indian Museum Powwow is supported in part by the Code of the West Foundation, the Silas Cathcart Memorial Fund, and by a grant from the Wyoming Arts Council, through funding from the Wyoming State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. Vendor spaces are full, but dancers may contact Rebecca West at or 307.578.4049.

FMI: or contact Nancy McClure at or 307.578.4102. Press passes are available through prior arrangement with McClure in the Center’s public relations office.