Two years ago, we attended our first powwow in Spencer, Massachusetts. We enjoyed it very much. We enjoyed the music, the dances, the photogenic regalia and, most of all, the atmosphere of festivity. I was able to have taken a few good pictures which “dazzled” my friends and relatives who had never attended a powwow. Among the few powwows we had attended in 2007, AIS Powwow was the best. They had a large number of dancers and a good collection of regalia which kept my camera very busy at work.
Memorial Day long weekend is the unofficial kickoff of summer. It seems like everybody is coming out of hibernation on the same day. People are getting marry, traveling to see friends and relatives, having big BBQ party with neighbors or dancing in a powwow. Although we would love to make it our “tradition” to kick off summer with a powerful powwow, we have not been able to do it every year. In 2008, we spent our Memorial Day weekend in NYC attending a wedding, and this year, we only managed to spent the Sunday afternoon in Spencer for the AIS powwow.
The first part of the program in the afternoon was new to us. Dennis, the janitor of AIS, told me that it was called Gourd Dance. He told me that the dance was to commemorate the Indians who had been saved by the Red Wolf (wolves?) from the surrounding soldiers (nowadays, the dance commemorates the Red Wolf and soldiers as well). The wolf led them to a safe exit and howled to mislead the soldiers. I searched the web, as suggested by Dennis, and found a number of different versions. Most of them credited the dance to Kiowa, Comanche and Cheyenne. The name Gourd Dance is derived from the rattles held by dancers. Rattles used to be made from gourds, now salt shakers are widely used. Mentioned in one of the versions, rattles are used to imitate the sound made by the bow quivers of the Cheyenne.
The second part of the program was inter-tribal dance. Although the atmosphere was still good, the number of dancers participated was smaller than that of 2007. In turn of photography, I used a slightly different approach this time. In a few occasions, I tried to show the motion of the dancers by using very low shutter speeds (as low as 1/20 second). The only fancy feather dancer there on Sunday was my focus. However, he did a lot of up-and-down movements which were hard to capture as compared with that of spinning. I saw more shawls this time as there were more female dancers. I love the patterns and colors of their shawls.
两年前的國殤日周末, 帶着老妻, 按着地圖在 Spencer 附近的鄉村路上去找印第安人舞集的塲地, 参加有生以來第一個”咆嘩”。還未進入會塲, 那獨特的鼓音和歌聲就把我們牢牢的吸引着。 及後坐下來, 看到那五彩繽紛的頭飾和服飾, 馬上就愛上了它。 當日[各族共舞 Inter-tribal dance] 場中有各族不同的服裝, 其中有两位 fancy feather dancer, 他們的服飾特別好看, 尤其是作旋轉舞步時, 服飾上的長穗随風飄动, 優美且有動感。 我當然希望能用相機捕捉那美妙的舞姿, 可是不竟不是攝影科班出身, 對着此多彩多变的塲景, 一時頓覺黔驢技短, 雖然施出混身解數, 仍是滿頭大汗, 力有不逮 (其實現在想將當時狼狽之情訴之筆墨也覺力有不逮。 也許我應該有自知之明, 看看电視过日子就好了, 拍甚麽照呢, 寫甚麼blog呢, 真是的。一笑)。雖說如此, 在眾多的照片中, 還好有幾張可以唬唬沒去过”咆嘩”的老鄉。
隨後去看了幾個不同的”咆嘩”, 還是以 Spencer 的最好。 好不容易盼到2008的春天, 以為可以再去 Spencer了,結果去了紐約市参加婚禮。 今年的國殤日也不是太闲, 但無論如何還是擠出星期天的下午去 Spencer 参觀”咆嘩”。 天氣報告說下午會有大雷暴, 所以提早到達, 希望能在大雨前看到一點。 今年的 Inter-tribal dance 沒有以往的氣勢, 不單人數不多, 且服飾亦稍遜。 不过這一次卻看到 Gourd Dance。此舞未知該如何翻譯, 姑名之曰瓢瓜舞吧 (望識者見教)。 其所以稱為 Gourd Dance 仍因舞者皆手持乾瓢瓜, 跳舞時上下不停擺動發聲。
觀舞時与主辦單位AIS的幹事 Dennis 闲聊. 彼告知 Gourd Dance 起源於南方基奥華 (Kiowa)族。話說一群基奧華印第安人被聯邦軍隊困於野外, 無法突圍。 當地的紅狼來救, 紅狼告知印第安人少安無燥, 晚上會來帶他們突圍。 及夜, 月黑星暗, 樹林裡瀰谩着薄薄的夜霧, 紅狼依約來帶基奧華人突圍。 行進中, 聲色為軍隊察覺, 正要發動攻勢時, 眾狼向天發出長嚎, 此起彼落, 令軍隊誤以為是狼群出沒而未加追殺。此舞起於紀念此事故, 現在延伸為紀念印第安人, 紅狼和軍隊三方。 回家後, 為了暸解Gourd Dance 的服飾而上網, 發現此舞起源的版夲甚多, 有說起源于 Comanche 或 Cheyenne 族 (皆為南方族群)云云。
Gourd Dance 之服飾有異於其他印第安舞。 最重要的是blanket/robe 或稱為長袍者, 此袍一半為紅色, 一半為深藍色. 長袍披掛於頸項上, 紅左藍右, 據說乃呼應心臟內血的颜色, 左紅右藍也。 女舞者之披肩亦作如是規格。 舞者左手持散羽扇 (loose feather fan), 右手持乾瓢瓜, 上下擺動。 惟乾瓢瓜易損, 故現多以金屬”鹽罐” (salt shaker) 代之。 此舞行進中, 我們發覺在我們前方的四名女舞者総是站在外圍, 從未進入男舞者所圍成之圈內. 原來乃印第安人亦重男輕女之故, 就算女舞者是退伍軍人亦未能例外。
後記: 下午節目在四時多就結束了, 因怕雷暴, 趕緊上路。 廾分鐘後, 剛上高速公路, 老天爺臉一沉, 路上黑漆一片。 突然間, 車身被高球般大的冰雹打的咚咚價响, 雨隨即傾盆而下。 一輩子沒見識过這樣的大塲面, 路上能見度甚低, 卻又不敢靠边停下來, 心裡着实有點發毛。只好開了壞車号, 慢慢隨着前車燈号前進, 希望沒有人碰上來。大約过了十分鐘, 安全走出雨帶, 雨过天清, 陽光普照, 地上連一滴水都沒有。 感謝紅狼把我們带離困境。
有関資料多來自互联網, 懇請高明指正。2007照片請移至夲節最後, 按連接即可.
Please note that all the info posted here are from the internet, kindly let me know if there are mistakes. For 2007 powwow photos , please scroll to the end of this post and click link.
For 2007 powwow photos , please click here.
If you wonder which photo is my favorite, click here.