By Léo Azambuja
The theme for this year’s Kaua‘i Powwow is Rejuvenate Your Spirit: Embracing Our Culture and Tradition, appropriately summed up in this Apache blessing.
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.
The 16th Annual Kaua‘i Powwow will be held from Sept. 26 to 28 at Kapa‘a Beach Park. Organizers are telling the public they can uplift their spirit though the power of the drum, dancing and the rhythm of a Native American powwow.
“Last year, 2013, we had over 100 Native Americans dancing at our powwow,” Kaua‘i Powwow Council President Kani Blackwell said. “2014 is going to be our biggest powwow ever.”
This year’s powwow will begin with the Outreach School program on Sept. 26 at Lydgate Pavilion in Wailua from 9-11 a.m. Later in the evening, the powwow will move to Kapa‘a Beach Park with the Indigenous Drum Gathering program from 6-9 p.m. The gates open at 4 p.m on that day, with food and crafts available.
On Sept. 27 and 28, powwow festivities will continue at Kapa‘a Beach Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the Grand Entry of the Color Guard at 11 a.m. presenting the flags and honoring those who have served in the military and the elders who have walked the paths before us.
There will be drumming, dancing, storytelling, traditional foods, silent auction, Native American and Hawaiian arts and crafts, and a keiki booth with games and activities.
“We are out here geographically in the middle of the ocean and there are many people who have never left the islands … so we bring the history, tradition and culture of the First Americans, the Native Americans to our islands,” Blackwell said.
In 1996, four Kaua‘i residents who were of Native American descent got together with a goal to provide a cultural event for Kaua‘i. Since 1997, there has been an annual powwow on Kaua‘i, except in 2001 and 2010.
In 1998, the Circle of Friends and Relatives of First Americans – dba Kaua‘i Powwow Council – was granted status as a nonprofit cultural and educational organization.
The mission of the Kaua‘i Powwow Council includes cultural exchange between Native Americans, Native Hawaiians and others; promotion of cultural and family values through exchange and education in an alcohol- and drug-free environment; outreach to students and teachers; and development of Kaua‘i-based events for families and visitors.
Admission to the Kaua‘i Powwow is free. No drugs or alcohol will be allowed in the event.
Visit www.kauaipowow.com for more information.