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).
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.
There 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.
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.
Overall, 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.
The only sounds are distant engines and lapping waves. The chickadees will reappear soon. It gets eerily quiet in the wilderness in winter, and autumn, its epilogue. You can hear individual leaves falling, and cars 4km away. Though some find its stillness disconcerting (reminiscent of life’s somber finale), I find it calming and strangely exciting – with no chirps and chatter, the world is gasping like an excited child, waiting for the big reveal. And I gasp with it – smiling at the imagery.
The Look, oil on 12″x16″ canvas
On that note, here a few paintings that have been hanging around my easels this month.
The Hike, oil on 12″x24″ canvas
Silvester, oil on 12″x16″ canvas
“How far did you get with your painting?
“Well, it’s almost done. There’s paint everywhere.”