"Our culture is a celebration of life. We honor our ancestors this way. They preserved what they could to make sure life goes on for the ones that are here today. We are proud to now share this with all who come." Jermaine Bell, White Bull Singers
Summer is the time to take in one of the many Native American dance performances and powwows and learn about the history and traditions of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation as they share their music and dance.
Each week you can watch and participate in two dance performances. Each begins with a grand entry where the dancers enter the circle. After the grand entry various styles of dance are performed - traditional, fancy feather, grass, jingle dress, fancy shawl and hoop dancing. You’ll learn about the dance styles, meet the dancers and the drum group. At the end you have the opportunity to join in the friendship or circle dance.
George Abeyta, a fancy feather dancer himself, is the MC for the Eagle Spirit Dancers at the Museum of the American West in Lander.
“We are very pleased, privileged and honored to work with the Museum of the American West. It's always a blessing to celebrate life through song and dance. During our 45-minute presentation we share the powwow way of life and the Native American culture to breakdown cultural barriers and to dispel myths, half-truths, and misunderstandings.”
The Eagle Spirit Dancers and White Bull Singers perform every Wednesday night through August 10 at 7 p.m. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, or sit on the benches. Get there early and enjoy a snow cone. The public is invited to participate in the ‘wanna be’ contest where you can try to dance one of the styles and are judged by the dancers. The evening ends with the friendship dance where the public and the dancers join together. Note: The July 13th performance is at 5:30 p.m. at the Lander Chamber of Commerce, 160 N. 1st.
The Northern Arapaho Dance Experience gives you a glimpse into the vibrant, alive and thriving culture of the Arapaho people. Enjoy Jermaine Bell as the MC and Arapaho Nation Singers at the Wind River Hotel and Casino south of Riverton. The hour-long program is every Tuesday at 6 p.m. through August 30. Chairs are provided in the Spring Mountain Room.
All performances are free. Children and cameras are welcome. Both locations feature local dancers who compete professionally locally and nationally on the powwow circuit.
Museum of the American West http://museumoftheamericanwest.com/
1445 W. Main St.
Wind River Hotel & Casino http://www.windriverhotelcasino.com/
10269 Hwy 789
There are three big powwows in Wind River Country. The Eastern Shoshone Indian Days (June), Ethete Celebration (July 22-24, 2016) and the Northern Arapaho powwow (August 26-28, 2016). These powwows draw top dancers and drum groups from around the US and Canada.
Load up your camp chair and cameras and make sure you’ve got enough cash for fry bread, Indian tacos and a raffle or two. Then settle in for 3 days of dancing, drumming and contests.
Learn more about the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes at one of the cultural centers or pick up the Wind River Indian Reservation Driving Tour Map at the Dubois, Lander and Riverton Chamber of Commerce.
*Don’t forget to use the hashtag #windrivercountry when you share your Wind River Country memories on social media.
For a complete calendar of events go to www.windriver.org/calendar. To request a vacation packet, please visit us at Wind River Country or call 800-645-6233. Pioneer your own adventure in Wind River Country!
About Wind River Country/Fremont County
Wyoming’s Wind River Country is the authentic, untamed West. It holds the answers to your adventurous spirit. Come discover new things like the best route to Yellowstone, see an Indian powwow, ride a horse or holler at a rodeo, pan for real gold, and hike in country that will take your breath away. Find the room to breathe, slow your pace a bit, and discover uncontrived adventure that will rejuvenate your soul in Wind River Country