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Aztec Dancers featured at powwow
26 July 2013

BISMARCK (UTN) - Dancers representing the Aztec culture of central Mexico will be part of the 2013 United Tribes International Powwow. The group Explendor Azteca is the featured cultural group of the annual event set for September 5-8, the weekend after Labor Day, on the campus of United Tribes Technical College.

      Aztec culture and dance mixes with Native American tribal music and dance during the powwow, now celebrating its 44th year. Providing the competitive action will be upwards of 1,000 participants from the northern Plains and around the country.

Photo by Thomas Hatzenbuhler from the 2012 United Tribes International Powwow

      Spectators and friends from all walks are welcomed to the circle to share the traditions of one of North Dakota's premier cultural events.


      The powwow begins with the first Grand Entry at Lone Star Arena in the center of campus on Thursday, September 5 at 7 p.m. Subsequent Grand Entries are held Friday and Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Central Time), and Sunday at 12 noon.

      A $20 entrance fee guarantees admission to all dance and drum competitions for the four days. Daily admission is $12. Seniors (65 and over) and children (5 and under) enter free.

      Admission wrist bands may be purchased in advance at the college's Finance Department prior to August 30 at 4 p.m. Group rates provided for 10 or more. Contact Ella Duran 701-255-3285 x 1214, eduran@uttc.edu. Additional admission information online at: www.unitedtribespowwow.com/admission.asp

      Camping space is available free of charge in designated locations on the United Tribes campus; round-the-clock security and access to facilities. No drugs or alcohol allowed and no pets.


      Known as "Home of the Champions," the United Tribes International Powwow is the powwow season's last, large outdoor event on the northern Great Plains powwow circuit. The contest offers $80,000 in prize money to the top singing groups and dancers is two dozen competitive categories. Cash, jackets and medals are awarded to the champions early Sunday evening, September 8, culminating the event. Day money provided for drums and tiny tots.


      An artwork showing a powwow scene is the visual representation of the 44th Annual United Tribes International Powwow. Powwow posters are a popular art form and each year an original work appears on the United Tribes poster.

2013 powwow poster design by artists Tom and Linda Haukaas

      Brother and sister artists Tom and Linda Haukaas worked with earth pigment paints on antique paper to depict a current powwow scene in the dance arbor at United Tribes. Men Chicken Dancers show their style in Lone Star Arena as women's traditional dancers stand ready in elaborate regalia featuring wool dresses with dentalium-shell capes and holding feather fans.

      "Images of Chicken Dancers are highly popular," says Haukaas. "It's painted with earth pigments on paper so old it's tanned in color, with brownish edges."

      "I also tried to represent the riot of color common to our powwows today," he says. "The dancers celebrate color and vivacity, which is better seen live."

      Thomas Red Owl Haukaas (Rosebud Lakota) is a prize winning artist in both contemporary and traditional Lakota forms. His work is in museums and private collections around the world, and in exhibitions. The United Tribes art collection holds several.

      The many different tribes of dancers in the image, as represented by their different types of regalia, "reflect the broad number of tribes that attend both the dance and the school," he says of the image.

      Haukaas and his sister worked jointly on the piece. She too is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Tribe and a multiple award winning artist noted for her contemporary versions of traditional ledger-style drawings that often depict Lakota women.

      In addition to being on the powwow poster, the image will adorn wearable and collectible items used to promote the powwow.


      United Tribes spotlights dancing from the Aztec culture of central Mexico as presented by the group Explendor Azteca (XIPETOTEC). Founder Gerardo Salinas, San Jose, CA, directs the cultural and dance traditions he learned as a fifth-generation Aztec dancer. His dancers are clad in elaborate and colorful head-dresses that mimic birds and serpents. The sound is a pulsing rhythm from an elongated drum made from the ocotl (pine) tree, accented by the staccato rattle of seed pods on dancer's leggings. The action recalls ancient routines and ceremonies that summoned the forces and beings in nature, as was done before the Spaniards drove the traditions underground. Explendor Azteca revives a long-dormant past and helps broaden appreciation of global indigenous culture.

Explendor Azteca at the 2001 United Tribes Powwow

      Performances are scheduled for 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, September 6 and 7 and at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 8 in Lone Star Arena. The group will also perform during Youth Day at 10 a.m. Friday, September 6, and will appear in the powwow grand entries and the Parade of Champions.

      Support for the Aztec Dancers visit to Bismarck is made possible by Tesoro Mandan Refinery, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Image Printing, Advanced Business Methods, Bismarck-Mandan Convention and Visitors Bureau, Theodore Jamerson Elementary School, United Tribes Tribal Leaders Summit, and United Tribes Technical College.


      Playing a central role in every powwow are those who answered the call to duty. Military veterans and active duty personnel who represent the college's governing tribes in North Dakota continue their service by presenting and posting the Colors during all powwow grand entries.

      Contact: Mike Iken 701-255-3285 x 1277, miken@uttc.edu


      Surrounding the dance arbor is a ring of powwow circuit vendors, creating a lively atmosphere and catering to the needs of tribal artisans and smart shoppers. Everything can be found from hides and antlers, to beads, finished clothing, bumper and window stickers and powwow collectibles. A food court presents a wide variety of cuisine, from oriental and barbeque to the ever-popular 'Indian Taco.'

      Craft Vendors Contact: Brandi Knife 701-255-3285 x 1274, bknife@uttc.edu; Food Vendors Contact: Robert Fox 701-255-3285 x 1384, rfox@uttc.edu; vendor application online: www.unitedtribespowwow.com/contact.asp


      The deadline is August 4 for Young American Indian women, who know their culture, to enter the Miss Indian Nations scholarship pageant. Judging takes place September 4 to 7 during the powwow. Single, non-parent American Indian women age 17 to 26 are eligible. Each is called on to demonstrate their command of tribal values, customs and teachings.

      Contact: Jessica Beheler 701-255-3285 x 1291 or 1499, jbeheler@uttc.edu; http://min.unitedtribespowwow.com


      School classes and school groups (K-8) are invited to Youth Day at the Powwow. This is a music and cultural event that entertains. Included are presentations, music, dancing, and audience participation, and a performance by the powwow's featured cultural group. Youth Day begins at 9 a.m. on Friday, September 6 and runs through the morning. Chaperoned school groups admitted free.

      Contact: Sheila Netterville 701-255-3285 x 1546 snetterville@uttc.edu.


      The United Tribes "Parade of Champions," is scheduled for Saturday, September 7 through downtown Bismarck, featuring dancers, singers, tribal groups, tribal leaders and community groups. Cash prizes are awarded in four categories: Best Overall Float, Best Youth or Culture Group, Best Horse Group, and Best Drum Group.

2013 Parade of Champions grand marshals: the Fort Yates "Warriors" championship basketball team of 1973

      Parade grand marshals are members of the 1973 Fort Yates "Warriors" Basketball Team. Forty years ago the Warriors won the North Dakota Class "A" Basketball Tournament in a thrilling triple-overtime victory, considered one of the best high school playoff games in North Dakota history.

      Contact: Jessica DeCoteau 701-255-3285 x 1332, jdecoteau@uttc.edu.

      Parade entry form, rules, and route information available online at: www.unitedtribespowwow.com/other.asp


      The Seventeenth Annual United Tribes Tribal Leaders Summit takes place September 4-6 at the Bismarck Civic Center. Tribal, federal and state officials discuss important Indian Country issues and share ideas; also includes a trade fair.

      Contact: Janet Thomas 701-255-3285 x 1431, jthomas@uttc.edu


10K and 5K run/walk scheduled for Saturday, September 7

      Sports are included at the powwow. A benefit golf tournament, "Teeing Off for Academic Excellence," is set for Friday, September 6. A double elimination softball tournament for women and men is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, September 7-8. Winning teams earn jackets; special awards are presented. Three-On-Three basketball is scheduled for students in the grades, middle school and high school. And a 10K and 5K run/walk is hosted for runners and walkers of all ages on Saturday, September 7.


  • Golf: Sam Azure 701-255-3285 x 1305 sazure@uttc.edu; or Hunter Berg 701-255-3285 x 1361, hberg@uttc.edu
  • Softball: Debbie Painte 701-255-3285 x 1232, dpainte@uttc.edu
  • Basketball: Kevin Rice 701-255-3285 x 1895, krice@uttc.edu
  • Run/Walk: Dan Molnar 701-255-3285 x 1367, dmolnar@uttc.edu
      Registration forms, flyers, rules, and so on are available online at: www.unitedtribespowwow.com/other.asp


      United Tribes honors you with the cultural tradition of a buffalo feed Sunday, September 8. All dancers, singers and visitors are invited free of charge. Serving takes place in the mid-to-late afternoon outside the United Tribes Cafeteria; serving time is announced. The meal is served by the college cafeteria staff and many student and staff volunteers. Buffalo donated by the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, one of the colleges's governing tribes.


      Masters of Ceremonies: Jim Clairmont and Jerry Dearly, both MN. Arena Director: Rusty Gillette, VA. Head Men's Dance Judge: Jzz Bears Tail, ND. Head Women's Dance Judge: Cody High Elk, SD. Ground Blessing: Julie Cain and Russell Gillette, United Tribes.


      David M. Gipp, College President; Julie Cain, Chair/Cultural Advisor; Ella Duran, Treasurer; Deb Painte, Secretary; Charisse Fandrich, Fundraising.


      REZ JAM SOUND, Frank K. Jamerson, Little Eagle, SD


      Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, Spirit Lake Tribe, Standing Rock Tribe, Three Affiliated Tribes of the Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara Nation, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa


Websites: www.uttc.edu  -  www.unitedtribespowwow.com
Powwow Info: Sandy Erickson, serickson@uttc.edu, 701-255-3285 x 1293
Media: Dennis J. Neumann, opi@uttc.edu, 701-255-3285 x 1386
Hotel/Motel Info: www.discoverbismarckmandan.com


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