More fun & unusal things to do in Austin

November 25, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Last May, I wrote about the delight of visiting a Synagogue and participating in the transcribing of a new Torah.

Well during the first weekend of November is when the Pow-wow is in Austin. If you have never been, it is a wonderful experience. A pow-wow is a coming together of Native Americans/ First Nation of various tribes for celebration and competition.

One of the funny parts is that because it is the same weekend each year, the same annual football games happen and in the case of the Austin Pow-wow it is on the same day as an OU-OSU game. Why is that worth mentioning, well a significant number of participants come down from Oklahoma and so support one team or the other - result is that between each competition the MC is keeping everyone up to date on the latest scores. Quite funny really.

Anyway, one of the things we really enjoy going to the pow-wow for is the see the dance competitions - in the past I have avoided taking pictures during the competitions, since I did not want to be a distraction, but this year the organizers were quite open about not only allowing photography, but encouraging it, and so I shrugged by shoulders and took photos with gusto.

Lighting was low, plus I wanted to use as fast a shutter as I could because the the speed of the movement, so that forced me to use quite a high ISO (with the noise issues that brings with it) and a middle range aperture (would rather have used a small aperture to maintain maximum focus, but it was one of those tough decisions).

The Ladies shawl dance is always delicate and elegant and this lady in particular was caught in that hawk like "swoop" 

Juxtaposition in a composition is always fun and so to see a Native american in their full outfit filming with an iPhone - it would have been wrong to not have taken the picture...

We hadn't been to the pow-wow for a couple of years, and so we were absolutely delighted to see so many young people keeping the traditions alive. The mens "Fancy" contest is always a dynamic competition where the energetic dancers create a dervish of colour.

Another member of the same competition - I did not envy the judging...

This warrior, WOW!
not only does he look the part, his whole demeanor and energy conveyed the power of the warriors story telling dance. The second photo of him, at the moment the dance ends - he stopped starring right at me, yet I caught him in the moment where he had frozen, yet the material of his dress was still in motion for just a split moment. The intensity of his look - if I encountered him in the wilds of Texas over a 100 years back, I would have fled in fear.

While thrilled to see new blood keeping these traditions going, it is also wonderful to recognise those individuals who come and dance each year. We have probably seen this noble gentleman at the pow-wow for 20 years now, and each time we are just spell bound by his performance...

So, next year, first weekend in November, make a plan to go to the pow-wow - you will enjoy yourself...

 


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