The dancers that entered the sacred circle today at the Black Swamp InterTribal Foundation’s pow wow in Perrysburg Township were a study in contrasts.
Some gently tapped their toes on the ground as they moved westward around the drummers, while others hunched their shoulders and stomped their feet.
Some were clad simply in worn leather or prairie dresses, while others were decked in a rainbow of colors and bustles full of feathers.
The grand entrance held solemnity and exuberance, pride and reverence.
"A lot of people will call it a religious or spiritual feeling," said Bellefontaine resident Dave Holland, whose Shawnee name Standing Bear was perfectly exemplified in the bear head and pelt he was wearing.
He and his wife, Samantha Holland, known as Spotted Fawn, have been traveling the pow wow circuit for about 15 years.
Ms. Holland published a Shawnee language dictionary earlier this year. It is available through sayitinshawnee.com.
The 10th anniversary gathering, "They Walked Here Before Us: A Woodland Indian Celebration," is being held today and continuing Sunday at Buttonwood Park’s Betty C. Black Recreation Area in Perrysburg. It includes such activities as an Indian village with lacrosse and flint knapping, a wildlife tent with American birds of prey, and a children’s tent with native American arts and crafts.
Gates open at 10 a.m. and closed at dusk today and and will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $4 for adults; $3 for seniors 60 and older; $2 for children 5-11 years old, and free for children 4 and younger.
Flutist Douglas Blue Feather, a Cherokee from Springboro, Ohio, is a special guest, and drumming is being performed by SouthEastern WaterSpider, Southern Singers, and Ribbon Town.