Max at a Pow Wow makes a strong personal

Max Bush


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SOC 201

            During the
trip to the museum, I was very captivated by the Indian exhibited. They had many different tribes
including: Ottawa, Potawatomi and Chippewa people. When walking through the
museum, I saw many eye catching pictures and wardrobes. The other exhibit that
attracted my attention was the whale right when you first walk in. It is so
large and puts the ocean in perspective and how large the animals are.

            At the museum they have the story of the Anishinabek “the
people” , but is describe in their own words, with rare and fascinating
objects, photographs and documents. The exhibit is about 5,000 square feet, and
is all committed to only talking about the tribes that walk through Miching
first. The three main tribes displayed are the Ottawa, Potawatomi, and
chippewa. On display is decorative arts, clothing, weapons and tools, with
video interviews with Anishinabe elders, parents, artists and professionals. The
exhibit talked about how the traditional Anishinabe society had no kings,
presidents, governors, or mayors. Instead, it had a highly developed tradition
of leadership and community service. Each band had its “Ogerhuk” or leaders who led by example and
represented the group to outsiders. Each leaders authority went only as far as
he or she could convince others to follow willingly. This was really intriguing
to me because they pretty much had no set leader, and surprisingly it wasn’t utter chaos.

            Pow Wows which also could be called a Tribe gathering,
were very popular for the Anishinabe Tribe. Often times Pow wows gather
Anishinabek from all over the nation to socialize with other Indian people.

These Pow wows didn’t
begin in Michigan until the 1960s. They include traditional Woodland Indian
music and dance with those learned from tribes in other states, and new songs
made by drum groups. Today, there are many different types of Pow Wow dances
and each one plays a specific role in the Pow Wow circle. Each dancer at a Pow
Wow makes a strong personal statement with his or her regalia (Dance Attire).  Pow Wow regalia often includes historic silver
pieces such as brooches, arm bands, and gorgets, originally exchanged as trade
goods between French and British fur traders and the Great Lakes Indians. These
Pow wows can still be seen today in modern Indian culture.

            When the U.S. Government threat-ended to remove the
Anishinabek to reservations in the West, the Indians argued that they were “civilized”
Christian farmers and should be allowed to stay. After much of their land had
been lost, the Anishinabek remained in Michigan, often mixing traditional pursuits
such as fishing and basket weaving with a diversity of jobs. In the 1930s many
Anishinabek moved to bigger cities in search of work. Despite these changes,
the Anishinabe culture endured. One interesting thing that the Anishinabe people
followed was the idea of Kinship, or the relationship among individuals, this
is one of the most important elements of Anishinabe culture. It helps to define
and organize the Anishinabe society, even when individuals live miles apart
from each other. In the video I watched while touring this exhibit they covered
the “Terms” that define kinship. These include
ododem, clan, band, and tribe.