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Neenah pow wow celebrates tradition, community

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They honored tradition and history. 

And as the afternoon unfolded, dancers and drummers welcomed the greater community to share in and celebrate their culture.

Indigenous people from tribes throughout Wisconsin gathered on the ancestral land of the Menominee Nation for an afternoon of dance, song, storytelling and community.

The fourth annual Neenah Menasha Inter-tribal Pow Wow was held in Downtown Neenah at Shattuck Park.

A downtown setting may not be the most typical for the pow wow.

Though for Kennedy Kaquatosh, a Menominee dancer, it was just right — both in the sense of returning home and for the opportunity to teach those who don’t know much about the native cultures of Wisconsin. 

“There’s a lot of folks out here; folks taking pictures,” he said. “It feels good.”

Dancers of all ages graced the circle in bright and ornate regalia. Music and dance exhibitions highlighted native spirituality and customs. 

All who attended were participants. The many non indigenous people in attendance were invited to enter the circle for dances.

The pow wow was hosted by the Neenah and Menasha historical societies.

Jane Lang, executive director of the Neenah Historical Society, said the annual gathering is an important recognition of the region’s rich history. It already had a rich history before the communities went by the names of Neenah and Menasha.

“This is the Menominee’s home,” Lang said. “Welcome home.”

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