Photo by Denis Orme_01

Eagle Dance by Moiy’ma Youth Group from the Hopi Nation in Arizona.

After three days of Native American cultural celebrations, the annual Kaua‘i Powwow wrapped up this year’s event at Kapa‘a Beach Park Sept. 28.

“The drums will always beat loudly in our hearts, even through the noise of the world, and every time our feet touch Mother Earth, our souls will feel the pull of those who walked before us,” said outgoing Kaua‘i Powwow Council President Dr. Kani Blackwell, quoting William Wind Walker.

When we dance at our powwow, she said, our spirits are uplifted out of respect for those who have passed and for those who join with us in our dancing.

Through dancing and the drumming, something magical happens, especially here on Kaua‘i where we dance beside the ocean. Our souls and soles are connected to the ground and we are united with nature in its purest form as we listen to our own heartbeat and the beats of the drum, Blackwell said.

This was the third and last powwow in which Blackwell served as KPC president. From now on, Kaplan Bunce will step up as president.

Blackwell said the values of Native Americans and Native Hawaiians are very close in spirit: Love and respect for the land, animals, living and non-living beings, and working for the good of others.

The 10 Indian Commandments, she said, are:

  • Treat the Earth and all that dwell thereon with respect,
  • Remain close to the Great Spirit,
  • Show great respect for your fell0w beings,
  • Work together for the benefit of all mankind,
  • Give assistance and kindness wherever needed,
  • Do what you know to be right,
  • Look after the well-being of mind and body,
  • Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good,
  • Be truthful and honest at all times, and
  • Take full responsibility for your actions.

The Hawaiian Lokahi Wheel, Blackwell said, have similar values: kuleana (responsibility), ‘ohana (family), mana‘o (knowledge), na‘au (morals), mana (spirit) and kino (health).

Photos by Denis Orme, of and