Six Nations dancers from all across Iroquois territories turned out July 21 for the 24th Annual Seneca Casino Veterans Pow Wow in Western New York.
Although the event is a full-contest powwow it was the smoke dancers who outnumbered all other dance styles.
Smoke dancers, from ages 6 to 106, came out to show their pride and share their traditions with each other and visitors from across Indian Country.
One of the highlights of the weekend was when over 50 men, all members of the Six Nations singers society, honored the women at the pow wow. The women were invited into the dance circle and the men sang traditional Iroquois-style songs for them.
There were also some lively specials: a switch dance contest hosted by the pow wow committee as well as a men’s traditional special hosted by head dancer Charles Beslie.
“I decided to dust off my outfit and jump into that contest," Beslie said.
Verna Street won the switch dance and Lonnie Street won the men’s traditional special.
“I was surprised and honored to get third place considering I was looking for the oxygen tank by the end of the first song," Lonnie said.
Although there was the threat of rain all weekend the skies stayed clear.