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  • Edición impresa de Septiembre 9, 2010

DOWAGIAC — Anyone who believes competitive powwow dancing is easy should talk to Greg Morsaw.

“I feel it at the end of the day, and now and then when I wake up in the morning,’’ the 47-year-old Hartford, Mich., resident admitted prior to the first of two grand entry ceremonies Saturday kicking off the 25th annual Kee-Boon-Mein-Kaa (“I’ve quit picking huckleberries’’) Pow Wow.

Indeed, the knees and feet take a pounding, as Morsaw and more than 200 other competitive dancers demonstrated in their colorful regalia. Hundreds of spectators looked on, obviously enjoying the show at the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians’ Rodgers Lake property on Sink Road.

A member of the Pokagon Band, Morsaw said he took up dancing five years ago and enjoys portraying a Northern Mens’ Traditional Dancer despite the toll on his lower extremities. He didn’t hesitate when asked why he does it.”It allows me to express ... how I feel inside. I dance for the creator, for ancestors who went before me and for future generations,’’ he said, adding the four colors of his regalia represent the four races of man.

Like Morsaw, Tom Topash, 63, of Berrien Center, a member of the Pokagon Band’s Tribal Council, said he took up dancing “to honor the culture.’’ Also like Morsaw, Topash, a dancer for 25 years, agreed there’s wear and tear on the body.

“I swim three times a week so I can do such things,’’ he said.

Waiting in the wings as well Saturday was Todd Miller, 28, a Dowagiac resident and Pokagon Band member who took up dancing as a child. His favorite dance, he said, is the Crow Hop, which is just as it sounds and is also a favorite of Topash.

Miller referred to it as a mating dance. Asked if he’s married, he laughed that he’s not but argued that’s not a knock against the dance.”It works,’’ he said, smiling.

Although rain dances are more well known, Miller and Topash both said they’re not practiced by the Pokagon Band.

“It’s (rain) not a major issue in southwest Michigan,’’ Topash explained.

dancingGiizhig Marteoo, 7, of the Saginaw Chippewa tribe dances Saturday at the 25th annual Kee Boon Mein Kaa Pow Wow at the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi headquarters in Dowagiac.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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