Tuesday, July 29, 2014

148th Annual Homecoming Celebration
Ho-Chunk Nation
Winnebago Nebraska
By Bob Uhl

There is not enough wow’s in Powwow to describe the precision & colorful array that took place as more then 300 dancers descended on & filled the dance arena in Winnebago Nebraska for the annual Veterans Homecoming Celebration Powwow. The event commemorates the return of Chief Little Priest and the Fort Omaha Scouts, Company A, Nebraska Volunteers of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.

Emcees Chris Grezlic & Boye Ladd

Under the experience & direction of emcees Chris Grezlic, Boye Ladd and Garan Coons there was plenty of Native Humor bouncing around the dance arena.  

Emcees Garan Coons & Chris Grezlik

This powwow is centered on honoring the veterans of every age & every conflict, men & women. Being a veteran myself, I was deeply touched by this nations focus on honoring veterans. Hoo--rah!

Every emcee looks for his ‘go to’ people in the dance arena to make it happen, whether its drum contests, judges or dancers, these are the people that give the ‘high sign’ to move the powwow forward. Experience again plays its hand with Mr. Pete Snowball, Mr. Scott Aldrich (past champion Fancy Dancer, not pictured) & Craig ‘Tunny’ Cleveland. All 3 past head man dancers at Winnebago Powwows.


Leading the way for the women was Head Women Dancer Jonielle Smith, (Ha da zha miinga meaning ‘comes to light’). She is from the Thunder Clan & a student at Western Iowa Tech. She has also been the Jr. Miss & Sr. Miss Winnebago Nebraska & Ms. SDSU 02-03.

Head Man Dancer Gentry St. Cyr, Ho-Chunk & Oglala Nations (Bear Clan), descendant of Chief Red Cloud & White Cow Killer, led the way for the men. Gentry has been dancing since he was 3 years old and recently returned from Russia dancing with the Many Moccasins Dance Troupe.

Black Lodge Singers

HayLushka & HuJope, host drums, sounded out the heart beat of mother earth for this Celebration along with 12 other drum groups with a visit from Black Lodge Singers from as far away as Washington State.  I cover as many midwest powwows as I can & I have to say all of these drum groups were in top form & performed better then any I’ve heard for sometime. Elk Soldeir, Whitetail, Making New Tracks, HoChunk & Motown just to name a few.

I can’t possibly list all the credits involved for this powwow because there are 100’s of people who make this happen. This is one of the oldest, biggest & best run powwows in the midwest.                              

Make arrangenments to attend the 149th annual powwow next year & see how it’s done-- Ho-Chunk Style. Thank you Ho-Chunk Nation once again for another great powwow.
You can see this story & over 100 pictures on my blogspot at http://midwestpowwows.blogspot.com or Midwest Powwows on Facebook.