2009 Memorial Day Powwow 國殤日印第安人舞集

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。


1- I used 1/25 second to allow movement shown, it was “hoped” that either the head or the hand would be relatively frozen (in focus) to serve as a focal point. For the whole picture, scroll down to see the last one. 你感到舞的動感嗎? 照片在夲輯最後可看到.


2- I believe that the shawls are specially for Gourd Dance because of the red (left) and blue (right) color. 此两位女仕的披肩, 左紅右藍, 應該是為瓢瓜舞而製的。


3- It appeared to me that lady dancers could only dance at the outside of the circle formed by man dancers. 這四位女士只能在舞圈白最外圍跳瓢瓜舞.


4- One of the the symbol of Gourd Dance is bugle. The Kiowas learned to use bugle to cause confusion to the federal troops, and was therefore a valuable tool to the Kiowa. 除了背心, 長袍外, 軍号也是重要的”道具”. 據說印人曾學會吹号,擾乱軍隊在作戰中的行止.


5- Dancers showed their military affiliations and decorations on their backs.  現在瓢瓜舞也紀念軍人, 尤其這是國殤日活動, 所以很多舞者都展示其隊徽.


6- Military ribbon


7- A clear view of the rattle and loose feather fan. 乾瓢瓜(現以金屬罐代之)和散羽扇.


8- The rattle in action. 瓢瓜罐被上下擺動.


9- The main piece of the regalia is the blanket or robe. It consists of two color, red and blue. The red is worn on the left side. It is said that the color scheme resembles the color of the blood flows in the heart. 此照清楚顯示長袍的形式.


10- It is said that this dance also commemorates soldiers. Veterans show their military affiliations. 三位舞者的帽上展示其軍隊隊徽.


11- Ladies sat around the southern drum. 婦女只能坐在鼓的周圍或舞圈的外圍.


12- The patterns and the colors of the shawls were beautiful. 漂亮的顏色和圖案.


13-The Southern Drum was located in the middle of the dancing floor. 歌者圍着大鼓而歌, 此鼓置於舞塲中央, 應為南鼓.


14- I tried to capture the action both in a “novel” way and…. 各族共舞中, 女士就可以在塲中大展身手.


15- ……. a more traditional way.


16- Inter-tribal dance 各族共舞


17- Porky roach and concho drag        此次少數的箭猪頭式.


18- Her regalia is beautiful. 好特別的服式.


19- Beautiful pattern and colors.


21- The only fancy feather dancer on the floor.  唯一的fancy dancer.


20- 1/200 second arrested the action. I don’t really like the colors under direct sunlight.



23- This is the whole of the first picture. The cloud-filtered sunlight gave the picture beautiful colors. It would be perfect if the face was frozen in focus as well.        老妻並不欣賞我的画感照片.


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.

我的”咆嘩”最愛, 請按此處.

This entry was posted in Boston 波士頓, Festivals 節/祭, Powwow 印第安人舞集 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 2009 Memorial Day Powwow 國殤日印第安人舞集

  1. E-Fun Chen says:

    Hi John,
    我倒覺得第二十三張有一种詭異神祕的感覺. 像是巫師飛舞於時空中, 雖看不清他的面目, 但見一隻強有力的手緊緊握住一個旋轉命運的魔輪. 看久了会頭昏.

    • bluepapillon says:

      十分有趣的觀察/解讀。我可能是太着意於營造油画感加動感的照片, 每次看這張照片, 腦袋只會想到技術上的問題。也許我應該 zoom 離遠一點, 才能像你一樣看到不同的效果。Very interesting.

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