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People from tribes across North American descend each year upon Albuquerque for the Gathering of Nations, a cultural celebration of amazing scale. Considering the conflict first peoples have endured and continue to endure, the expression of culture feels overwhelming, a linking of the past with the present.

There are singing and dancing contests and a weekend-long flow of musical acts. Grand Entry on Saturday night marks the communal dance of everyone participating. In this clip, the elder Eagle Bonnet Dancers follow Jeremiah Holyboom, who leads.

 

Within a short time, thousands of dancers flow into the arena in full dress, some wearing grizzly bear claws. In the middle of the dancers are a half-dozen drum circles, playing in unison.

 

Watch the woman in red and yellow in the Women’s Fancy Shawl dance contest.

 

For a slightly better view: this clip is from the Chinle AZ powwow last year on the Navajo Nation. There were two competitors in the Women’s Elderly Dancers division.

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