Home United Tribes News Story

United Tribes News

Fancy dancer is on powwow poster
5 August 2007

BISMARCK (UTN) The image of a male fancy dancer in bright regalia with his head held high has been selected to represent the 38th Annual United Tribes International Powwow. The work, "Wacipi Waste," rendered in mixed styles by artist Don Brewer (Cheyenne River/Oglala Lakota), Globe, Arizona, pays tribute to the joy and goodness of the powwow.

      Brewer's work will adorn wearable and collectible items used to promote the 2007 event scheduled for September 6 9 on the college campus in Bismarck.

Wacipi Waste
The work "Wacipi Waste" by artist Don Brewer (Cheyenne River/Oglala Lakota), is the image of the 2007 United Tribes International Powwow.

      It is the third time a work from Brewer has been selected to promote the "Tribes" powwow, one of the longest running contest powwows in the country.

      "I'm so honored to have [Wacipi Waste] as the UTTC poster," said Brewer, 45, an artist for more than 20 years. "It came from the near the beginning of my career when I was trying to push myself and find new boundaries."

      Literally translated in Lakota as "Good Gathering," Wacipi Waste is an example of how Brewer's style was influenced by abstract and impressionist artists. The acrylic/horsehair/beaded original was created in 1988, shown very little, purchased by Jess Clairmont for United Tribes, and is part of the college's collection of American Indian art.

      The canvas on which the dancer is painted represents a window between the "spiritual world and physical world." Protruding from the plane of the canvas on the original as if bobbing between the two worlds are the beads of the dancer's headband and the horsehair of the roach.

      "When a dancer is out there in the arena, listening only to the drum and the singing, he transcends the here and now," said Brewer. "You go to another level, you're not even there."

      In Wacipi Waste you are seeing a dancer in a "spiritual place unto himself," he said. "He is in the midst of both worlds. One of the truly joyous and good things of the powwow."

      Brewer's first poster image for the UTTC powwow was in 1986, followed by another, "Sioux Chief," in 1991. His work ranges in size from book and CD covers to 50 foot landscape murals. Living near the San Carlos Apache Nation, Brewer has been interested in teaching young tribal artists. He hopes to open a gallery in the future.

      The powwow's dazzling display of color and culture begins with the first Grand Entry of dancers at Lone Star Arena, in the center of campus, on Thursday, September 6 at 7 p.m. Subsequent Grand Entries are held Friday through Sunday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Central Time).

      The powwow concludes with awards for champion dancers and drum groups on Sunday evening, September 9. All first place winners receive Jackets, gold medals and cash. Second through fifth place winners receive medals and cash. The first 25 drums are paid; tiny tot dancers earn day money.

      A $15 entrance fee guarantees admission to all dance and drum competitions for the entire four days. Daily admission is $8. Elders (60 and over) and children (5 and under) enter free.

      Held annually since 1969, the four-day event is the last of the large outdoor powwows on the Northern Plains at the end of the summer season. It typically attracts 800 dancers, more than two-dozen drum groups, and upwards of 15,000 spectators, to the college campus.

      For more information about the powwow and associated events contact Sandy Erickson, serickson@uttc.edu, 701-255-3285 x 1293, FAX 701-530-0633, or visit either www.unitedtribespowwow.com or www.uttc.edu.


Contact Us

United Tribes News
3315 University Drive
Bismarck, ND 58504

(701) 255-3285 ext. 1386