The 146th Annual Quapaw Powwow

It was the day after the 4th of July, and I was ready to spend the day out in the sun again. My friend, Jalah invited me to attend the Quapaw Powwow with her family.

A Powwow is a celebration of Native American culture that includes singing, dancing, contests, and vendors. The Quapaw Powwow is held annually in Beaver Springs Park in Quapaw, Oklahoma. I was more than excited to experience the culture of the Quapaw tribe firsthand, and learn about my friends remarkable family history.

We hit the road before noon. Quapaw is only a little more than two hours away from Kansas City. Long drives don’t bother me; I love a good road trip. As long as there’s a great playlist, I’m in.

Our first stop was the Louisburg Cider Mill. I visited there a couple of years ago right before Halloween for the pumpkin patch. Maybe I’ll go again this fall. The cider and the donuts are always so fresh and comforting. It’s a very cute and welcoming place.

We then stopped to check out the Baxter Springs Heritage Center & Museum in Baxter Springs, Kansas. The museum has artifacts that had been donated by Jalah’s family and other members of the Quapaw tribe. 

The museum was rich in local history as well as American history. Each section is set up in a way where you are completely immersed in the culture of each distinct time period or cultural event. It was almost like walking through time itself.

Next, we drove through Nevada, Missouri, where Jalah and I plan to visit again this fall to tour Cottey College. We’ll be stopping by this October for the “C” For Yourself weekend. I can’t wait!

The 146th Annual Quapaw Powwow

Later that day we made it to the Quapaw grounds. The place was hot and smelled like funnel cakes. What’s more inviting than that? The heat in Oklahoma is similar to Kansas. It’s thick and it’s heavy. I could sit still and be sweating, but shaved ice helps a lot!

We had lots of time to kill before the before the Grand Entry, so Jalah and I checked out all the vendors. There was lots of beautiful art and jewelry. I couldn’t help but purchase some rings.

The Powwow started later than expected, so we could only stay to watch the Grand Entry since we only drove down for the day. During the Grand Entry, everyone is asked to stand as the flags are brought into the arena. The regalia of the dancers were so beautiful and intricate.

It was a lovely evening. There was a peaceful, friendly vibe that’s hard to find these days.

I wish we had gotten to stay longer to watch the competitions, but I was feeling a little tired myself. We stopped at the nearest gas station for some coffee and got back on the dimly light roads. There were so many stars in the sky. I got back home a little after midnight sweaty, exhausted, but happy.

I love experiencing and learning new things. Education is the key to understanding, and the only way to succeed is to expose yourself to new or different situations. In doing so, it's important to remain respectful!

I hope to come back in the future to be more involved. Thank-You to the Quapaw tribe for allowing me to experience this event. 

Tell me, have you ever attended a Powwow?