By Danny Beaton
People think we all just go dancing in a circle at a pow wow. But it’s not like that. When you go into the dance arena and you’re praying and dancing, people will leave you alone. It’s an accepted place where you can go and be alone with your prayers and stuff. You end up dancing with your feet, and that’s a prayer because you’re praying with your feet—you pray with your whole body. So that’s the importance of dancing, along with rebonding with friends and relatives, and it’s that way for me.
There was a time when they were shooting up Bosnia and I was asked to do a talk on Saturday, so Friday night we started a pow wow and it was 72 degrees when we started dancing. Friday night is usually just an evening pow wow set up for dancing on Saturday morning. We were in the upper desert, and when the temperature dropped, it got really cold with in one and half hours and every one went home except the head staff and the drum. It got cold as heck, but I decided this pow wow was for me, and so I was gonna go out there and dance. Sauginea was MC at the time. I decided to dance my heart out until I got an answer about what I was supposed to say about Bosnia. So I started dancing, and the sweat started coming down my face, and Sauginea started cheering me on, and even when the drum stopped I kept on dancing. I learned in that dance that my weapons were the rattle and the wing and that I must keep dancing and praying for what were asking for.