Siouxlanders may be familiar with the sights and sounds of a Winnebago Pow Wow, but do we understand what they're all about? At the 147th annual Homecoming Pow Wow it's all about celebration and appreciation.

The feathers, the bells, the dancing, they're the basic staples of any pow wow. But why exactly do tribes have pow wows, anyway?

It all goes back to 1867 when the tribe's last war chief, Chief Little Priest and 75 warriors returned home from service with the U–S military.

"A lot of them, they see the trials and tribulations and the travesties of the war," says master of ceremonies Chris Grezik. "They might be hurt mentally, physically, spiritually."

The warriors needed a way to heal from their physical and emotional wounds, so they danced.

"Back then, this was a way to heal themselves psychologically so that they can feel good. The wounds that they had acquired physically, they would paint them, and come out into the circle. And they would heal," said Grezik.

Nowadays, it's not just warriors who get to dance. It's everyone. Whether to honor veterans or to enjoy themselves, native and non–native people are invited to join in the circle.

"I like to dance for happiness, good health, and wellness," says head male dancer Craig Cleveland Jr. "I dance for those who can't dance and I dance for my elders."

The tribe is looking forward to many pow wows to come, all to honor those that have served. "As you can see, a lot of our young people are out there, and that's all because of the sacrifices that our veterans have made for us," said Grezik.

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Responses to "Pow Wow Dancers Tell Story with Feathers, Bells and Music (Video)"

  1. Unknown says:

    Stunning pictures of pride in your heritage!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I was in Little Eagle SD this past Friday and went to the pow wow and sat next to a native named Bob he told my the same thing about the dance and gave me a better understanding of what each regalia ment THANKS BOB !

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