Monday, June 28, 2010

Membertou 400 Halifax Pow-Wow

This past weekend was an exciting one in Halifax.  As Ryan blogged about last week, it is the 400th anniversary of the Mi'kmaq Grand Chief Membertou's baptism and a variety of activities were planned to mark the occasion.

From Friday through Sunday, a Mawiomi (Pow-Wow) was held on the Halifax Commons.  It featured a cultural village with demonstrations in basketry, quill work, storytelling, and games (to list a few).  People could sample traditional Mi'kmaq food and check out the marketplace where First Nations artisans were selling their wares and explaining to visitors how and why their craft is made.  On the other side of the Commons was a concert venue where a number of artists performed, including Buffy Sainte-Marie and Shane Yellowbird.

The Mawiomi had several MCs, two of which were from the Prairies.  These men remarked several times on the friendliness and hospitality of Nova Scotians, one saying that he had yet to meet a grouchy person in Nova Scotia.  It was also noted that the crowds were much larger than anticipated, requiring the expansion of the Mawiomi circle so that more people could see and experience the event.  Media reports stated that it was the largest Pow-Wow ever held in the Maritimes.  First Nations representatives were on hand from across the country and there is already talk of hosting another Pow-Wow next year.  

There was a strong sense of pride and fun in the weekend activities.  It was very clear that everyone, whether participant or spectator, thoroughly enjoyed the event.  Many people were saying that they had never seen their culture celebrated in such a large way.  

While the photos don't do justice to the atmosphere, I hope that you'll enjoy a taste of the celebrations.

1 comment:

L said...

I think those are great photos. Thanks for sharing!