|(Photos by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services)|
By Theresa Maddix
People from many nations celebrated the Dance for Mother Earth pow wow March 2931 at Crisler Arena. The heartbeats of 15 separate drum groups led Native Americans and guests in entries and exits; competition dances, including traditional, fancy, jingle dress and fancy shawl; veterans songs and memorial dances.
On Crislers upper circle, the smell of warm fry bread wafted through the air with exhibitor tables set up to sell or barter a wide variety of wares. Crowds milled around booths asking visitors to Buy Native with items ranging from hot coffee and chewy buffalo meat to leather products, t-shirts and shawls. Educational and culturally significant items were shared in abundance, too, through books, videos, CDs, artworks and crafts.
But mainly, the spirit of the drums and dancing permeated the event. Those not dancing could be seen tapping their feet along with the beat of the drum. All present participated in the Dance for Mother Earth.