I first started to go to Native American pow wows in 1981 when I was invited to go to a small pow wow set up with tipis at the Schiele Museum in Gastonia, NC, and was invited by Dr. Ayers of the ASU Anthropology department.
MY FIRST DANCE SHIRT
My first beaded dance shirt was a rough attempt with beaded loomwork strips, handmade moccasins with a bit of lazy stitch, and eventual quill work on the shirt around the loom strips and the V neck yoke.
THE EARLY POW WOWS
After attending a couple of years at the Schiele, I went with Johnny B to a fantastic pow wow around Lake Lure, NC, at an old girl scout camp called Lake Occoneechee. There was nothing quite like seeing 18 tipis set up at dusk around the lake. From my journal: "There is a lot here for me. I talked to the first Indian in the special forces in 1954. He spent 8 years in or around Vietnam. It is almost midnight as my tent is set up in this valley after a full day of dancing. Tomorrow we must leave and I'll miss the lake, the people, the holiday, the singing, the morning yoga, the drums, the regalia, the individuals, the art work, the beads, the color, the girls, the smiles, the meadow and the water. It was the best so far."