The University of Chicago News Office
Sept. 18, 2002 Press Contact: Julia Morse
(773) 702-8359

The University of Chicago and “N8ive Chicago” to celebrate Native American culture at Powwowpalooza 2002

Powwowpalooza, a traditional celebration of Intertribal Native American culture, will bring hundreds of dancers, musicians, craftspeople, and food vendors to the University of Chicago campus on Saturday, Sept. 28. The festival will be held at the Midway Rink (1130 East Midway Plaisance) from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is free.

At Powwowpalooza, representatives from tribal nations throughout North America will display contemporary Indian culture to the larger Chicago community. Powwowpalooza is intended to be a celebration, cultural exchange, and critical vehicle for preserving and transmitting Native traditions to a younger generation.

Dancers in vibrantly colored regalia will perform various traditional powwow dances including Gourd Dancing from Oklahoma. Dancing begins at noon and 6 p.m. A Chicago revival of powwow contests, including the Switch Dance, Hand Drum, and Feather Pick-up, will take place throughout the day. In addition, Native American vendors will sell authentic arts, crafts, and jewelry and Native American food.

The powwow was organized by N8ive Chicago, an American Indian Center (AIC) committee made up of Native young adults who demonstrate cultural pride and leadership. “We hope to attract Native Americans from around the U.S. and Canada to come celebrate the powwow. We want everyone out there dancing with us,” says Shann Maupin, a tribal member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and chairman of the N8ive Chicago committee.

The University of Chicago has sponsored annual powwows on campus since 1998. This year’s powwow will be held on the Midway Plaisance, near the site where the Indian Village exhibition stood during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

What is a powwow?

At powwows, Indian communities gather, rekindle old friendships, establish new ones, and reaffirm traditional values. Powwows are also educational events where people of all ethnic backgrounds can learn about Native American culture and participate in inter-tribal dancing. Indians hold powwows throughout the country all year round.

While Powwowpalooza is free to visitors, proceeds from donations and sponsorships will benefit the AIC, a non-profit cultural, educational and social services organization serving Chicago’s Native American community. Funds will also help with the planning of Powwowpalooza II - 2003.

Powwowpalooza is a drug- and alcohol-free event. For more information or directions, call the American Indian Center at (773) 275-5871.
Last modified at 04:27 PM CST on Thursday, February 27, 2003.

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