The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Watersmeet High School hosts annual Powwow

 

March 5, 2018

Ian Minielly/Daily Globe

DANCERS YOUNG and old circle the drummers in the middle of the gym in Watersmeet at Saturday's eighth annual powwow of the Lac Viex Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.

By IAN MINIELLY

iminielly@yourdailyglobe.com

Watersmeet - The Lac Viex Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians held their eighth annual winter powwow Saturday in the gym of the Watersmeet High School. Chairman James Williams Jr. said the powwow brings people from as far away as Wisconsin, Minnesota and even Canada for the two day get together.

When asked why they meet in the winter, Williams said it helps break up the winter and gives their scattered folks a chance to gather together, while also preserving their history, traditions and culture. The members of the LVD band also meet in the summers and have done so for over 20 years in August.

The members of the tribe spent much of Saturday dancing to the beat of the drums. Williams said the different dances from the jingle and grass dances to the traditional represent different elements of their culture through dance. The drummers in the center of the ring sing different songs, depending on the dance type.

Williams said another positive element of the powwow is it provides the local community a chance to see how the band celebrates together in all the different regalia displayed by dancers, drummers, and regular folks in attendance.

The powwow lasted until 9 p.m. Saturday, before resuming Sunday at noon, according to Williams. The powwow was scheduled to end at 4 p.m., Sunday. The Watersmeet senior class ran the concession stand to raise money for their class in school while the community came together to provide an evening community feast Saturday at 5 p.m.

 
 

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