On Saturday I went to the Meskwaki Settlement near Tama, Iowa to shoot video footage (and a few still photos) of my first powwow. The footage will be part of the DVD features on an independent feature that will be shot in the area later this month.
In the past I’ve actually gone out of my way to avoid the more touristy versions of pow wows I’ve seen advertised in places throughout the Southwest. But the powwow Saturday, while open to the pubic, was the real deal. It’s a magestic and colorful sight to see hundreds of American Indians proceed into the main area singing and dancing and celebrating their culture.
The 98th Meskwaki Indian Powwow was held just off the transcontinental Lincoln Highway—that’s a lot of history flowing through one area. Meskwaki Nation is also known as the Sac and Fox Tribe.
A nice tie-in to the Olympics that just ended yesterday in London is there was talk on TV about the greatest athletes of the recent games and they mentioned Usian Bolt, Michael Pheleps and Missy Franklin and then they started talking about the greatest Olympic athletes of all-time and the name Jim Thorpe was mentioned. Thorpe who on top of being a gold medal Olympian, also played professional baseball, football and basketball. He was also an American Indian from the Sac and Fox Tribe. The 1951 movie Jim Thorpe—All-American was written by Douglas Morrow and Everett Freeman based partly on a biography by Thorpe. According to IMDB, Thorpe also had a 20-year run as an actor.