The 13th Annual Hunting Moon Powwow 2017 kicked off the weekend of Oct. 20-22 in Milwaukee, Wis., at the Wisconsin Center downtown. The pow-wow was directed by the Forest County Potawatomi tribe and brings in dancers and drummers from all over the United States. It really is the powwow of pow-wows here in the Midwest.
Here are just a few figures from this year’s powwow: There were approximately 500 dancers, 465 registered dancers plus (unregistered) tiny tots. Champion jackets were awarded to all first-place dance category winners, and a Hunting Moon Powwow teddy bear and cash was awarded to the tiny tot dancers.
Powwows.com broadcasted this pow-wow worldwide with 570,000 views on Facebook – about 20,000 more than in 2016! Another media outlet was with the local news stations, which actually high-lighted Woodland Sky Native American Dance Company that helped promote Hunting Moon Powwow. As you can
see, this powwow just keeps getting more coverage and more participants each year.
The head staff for this year’s Hunting Moon included: Masters of Ceremony Artley Skenandore and Manny King; Arena Director Ron Goodeagle; Head Dance Judge Joe Young; Head Drum Judge Dylan Jennings. Host Drums were Black Stone and Bear Creek.
Drums for this year were: (Youth) Little Bear, Battling Scout, Hay Creek, Wild Cubs, Young Chiefs, Tomahawk Circle, (Adult) The Boyz, Ho Chunk Station, Smoky Town, Mystic River, Mo Town, Goodtime Ojibway, Eagle Flight, Midnite Express, Battle River.
Dance competitions included: Tiny Tots, Men’s Traditional, Grass and Fancy, Women’s Traditional, Jingle and Fancy, “Old Time” Women’s Scrub, Men’s Woodland Style, and Men’s Chicken Special.
Prize payouts included: Golden Age Men and Women combined, Senior Men and Women, Adult Men and Women, Teen Boys and Girls, Jr. Boys and Girls, “Old Time” Women’s Scrub, and Men’s Woodland Style.
When it comes to major competition powwows such as this one, there is no playing around with the rules; bringing your “A-game” is necessary if you want to have the judges take notice. Here are just some of the rules a dancer has to follow while competing (taken from hunting-moonpowwow.com):
- Deadline for dancers to participate in the dance competition is 1 p.m. on celebration Saturday.
- Judges will be selected by the head judge.
- Points awarded will be based on a point system designed by the head judge.
- Points will be awarded starting with the 7 p.m. grand entry on celebration Friday.
- Dancers are allowed to enter in only one category (exceptions for dance specials) and will not be allowed to switch categories.
- All dancers competing must be in full regalia and dressed appropriately for the category in which they will compete.
- Dancers competing for their category will be issued a number that must be worn and visible to those recording numbers in order to receive points.
- Should any part of your regalia dis-assemble during your contest, points will be deducted.
- Points will be deducted from a dancer if he or she is seen leaving the arena before flags are posted or if the dancer
is observed holding up the grand entry procession.
- Any dancer suspected of consuming alcohol or drugs and acting inappropriately will be disqualified.
- Competitors providing incorrect Social Security numbers or registration information will be disqualified from the contest and their numbers will be retrieved.
Grand Entry kicked off each day with the veterans carrying in the flags and eagle staffs, followed by the head dancers, royalty and other dancers as follows: Men’s Traditional, Men’s Grass Dance, Men’s Fancy, Women’s Traditional, Women’s Jingle and Women’s Fancy. Teens and children then came in the same order. The invocation was then spoken and the powwow took off from there.