My friends Janice, Claudia, Margarita and myself traveled by bus and subway to Floral Park, NY home of the Queens County Farm Museum, a 47 acre historic working farm and host to 38th annual Thunderbird American Indian mid-summer Powwow.
Despite the hot, over cast and hideously humid day we were excited to be moseying around in the fresh air and looking forward to the American Indian music, singing and dancing.
Since we had a few hours before the festivities began I took the opportunity to roam around capturing the farm flora and fauna. Being a city girl I get a kick out of chickens and roosters, listening to their squawks and cock-a-doodle-doos. They had white Silkie Bantams, that looked like a cross between a walking feather duster and a young Rod Stewart. I walked among gentle eyed goats, pony tails and piggy snouts, long eared rabbits and blonde buck toothed llamas. Meandered through rows of curly kale and red and gold Swiss Chard, felt small among a field of tall green corn stalks and was startled by a not very nice black bull and his shy red haired mate.
I made my way towards the Powwow circle and stopped to peruse the stalls selling Native American jewelry, pottery, textiles, drums and flutes. I purchased a copper cuff bracelet etched with Indian motifs and a carved bone pendant in the shape of a white barn owl.
At one o’clock the Powwow began. I sat on the grass with other photographers on the edge of the circle, my friends sat on square bales of hay on the opposite side. Within the circle a grouping of men sat around a large drum beating out a steady rhythm, singing sacred songs as the dancers entered the circle.
The dancers, adults and children alike were enveloped in feathers, beads, bells, colorful blankets, shells and leathers. An explosion of colors, sounds, excitement and a feeling of pride and unity among all people emanated from the circle, spreading out and pouring over the spectators, wide-eyed with heads nodding with each beat of the drum.
An American experience!
(click on any image below to view the images in a slide show)