Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

Pow Wow

This week everyone at the ranch got the opportunity to go to a First Nations Pow Wow. I had never heard of this before and had to ask what it was. A Pow Wow gathers people together to celebrate life. It does this through song and dance, ceremonies, rituals and displays of hospitality and unity.

We went to the Pow Wow of the Lil’wat community about two and a half hours from the ranch. It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky. The drive down had spectacular views and we even saw a bear on the road, the first I had ever seen.

The Pow Wow was held in a large hall with plenty of dance space. There were many different dance categories with striking regalia and the drummers set the rhythm for the dance.

The whole experience was really interesting and impressive but what stood out to me was near the end a man was called into the middle of the floor and the emcee explained that the man was going through a tough time in his life. They asked for the man’s family to join them on the floor and for all the jingle dress dancers to make a circle around them. The idea is that the jingle dress dance is a healing dance. The drummers started and the ladies began to dance. The hall was filled with the sound of bells and drums. Everyone was praying for this man and his family, praying for this troubled time to be healed. I found this to be a beautiful tradition, the feeling of love in the hall was quite moving.

Afterwards all the dancers lined up to shake hands with or hug the family members. The importance of family is obviously very strong in this community and it is wonderful to see how a whole community bands together to show their support and love when one of their own is in need of help, hope and prayer.

The Pow Wow was a great experience and a wonderful event full of colour and sound, laughter and shouts of joy.

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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