The Powwow opened with a Grand Entry, featuring nearly every dancer in the room in traditional dance outfits. Some carried in flags, all while dancing and singing to traditional music and drums.
“We have lots of Native American dancers who come dressed up in their outfits. They call them regalias,” said Kuman Louis, a Native American specialist. “It’s a display of cultural and traditional dances from the Northern Plains and some of the southern tribes that get involved also,” Louis said.
The Powwow has been held annually for several years. Money earned helps contribute toward scholarships for Native American students, as well as an emergency fund for Native American students at UVU.
Many tribes attended the Powwow, including Navajo, Pueblo and Hopi, among others. Although dancing was the main attraction, scones and Native American jewelry like copper bracelets, feather earrings and beaded necklaces were also sold on the side.
Rosa Yzaguirre, 22, was one of the attendees at the Powwow. She had always wanted to attend a Powwow, making the event at UVU her first time doing so. The dancing and the regalias were her favorite aspects of the event.
“I really liked their attire,” Yzaguirre said, “and the feathers were cool, too.”
There were dancers of all ages and most had time dedicated to their age groups. The Powwow held a “Tiny Tots” section in which young children performed dance numbers in groups. They also held time for seniors and teenagers to perform.
BYU student Kaylea Drake, 19, attended the Powwow for her Navajo class.
“I really like watching the little kids dance,” Drake said. “They’re adorable.”
Shanna Besendorfer, also from BYU, liked the dancing and the regalias.
“I’ve enjoyed watching the little ones dance,” Besendorfer said. “It’s great to have an opportunity to be together and enjoy the culture.”
Many of the dancers have been dancing since they could walk, including Sean Snyder, 20, and his sister, Shaina Snyder, 18.
“We’ve been dancing our whole lives,” Shaina said. “It’s a family thing. We’ve traveled all over the country for it.”
Many of the regalias were handmade.
“I hope people appreciate [the Powwow] for the art that gets put into it,” Sean said, who adorned a regalia he helped make.
Marie Todachiny went to the Powwow to support and watch her kids who were performing some of the dances. Dancing is a tradition in her family and all of her children danced growing up, along with her husband.
“I’m there for them,” Todachiny said. “I fix their hair and sew for them.”