Eel Ground Powwow

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch Studio I took a day trip yesterday to visit the Eel Ground First Nation Powwow. It was (ashamedly) my first time there – and my only regret is not having gone sooner.

It was quite a stunning event, from the music to the clothing to the general atmosphere (which was a mixture of welcoming, celebration and respect).Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch StudioEel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch Studio

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch Studio

 

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch Studio

I stayed for the Grand Entry, in which members of the Aboriginal community marched in, followed by a prayer and lots of dancing in bright regalia. Apparently several dancers and drummers were from different First Nations communities, many outside of New Brunswick.

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch Studio

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch Studio

 

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch Studio

 

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch Studio

 

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch StudioThere were also quite a few vendors there, set up in a large circle surrounding the dance arena. They were selling everything from jewelry to rolls of deer hide to musical instruments. It was also the first time I had seen a triangle-shaped hand drum. Not sure how it may affect the sound, but it definitely was eye-catching.

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch Studio

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch StudioEel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch Studio

 

The only downside was the weather – the Grand Entry began at 1pm, which meant the sun was rather scorching, with beads of sweat rolling down all sides. I can only imagine how hot it must have been for the dancers! Though I came to terms with the heat by choosing to see it as a free outdoor sauna. Mind over matter…it works sometimes.

 

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch StudioEel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch StudioOverall, it was a really great experience, and I will definitely be back next year…maybe even for the sunrise ceremony (if I ever find the willpower to rise at 4:30am). 

Note: For those who have never been to a powwow, they do announce during which songs you are allowed to take photographs, so just make sure to pay attention to the MC. 

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