#FollowFriday - 4 Indigenous Powwow Dancers to Follow
Powwow is a time-honored tradition among Indigenous peoples. Other than the known Indian tacos, vendors, stomping grounds for natives to come together and show off their swag, it is a celebration of life, culture, and the spirit of our ancestors. People from all different indigenous nations gather together to sing, dance, and honor the traditions of our people. The word "powwow" comes from an Algonquian word for a healing ritual. Today, powwows are held all across North America as a way to connect with our heritage and celebrate the richness of our cultures. Here are some names that are making waves through the traditional of dancing:
Nikita Elyse, a plains cree iskwew from Mohkinstsis, rose to social media at the height of the Instagram Indigenous uprising in 2017, she is known for her ethereal features, and her talent in doing makeup, however, Nikita has been a star within her community doing what she loves, women’s traditional dancing and an environmental advocate. While going to University for Environmental Science, Nikita hosts workshops teaching pow-wow dancing to inspire the community in reclaiming their heritage through pow-wow classes.
Follow Nikita on Instagram
Deanne Hupfield is a pow-wow dancer and YouTube sensation. She teaches traditional pow-wow dancing online, sharing her passion for the art form with the world. A former student of the Fashion Techniques and Design program at George Brown College, Deanne is now an instructor herself, sharing her knowledge and skills with others. Her courses covers the stories of Anishinaabe, Powwow Dances and Regalia, Breaking Free from Generational Trauma and more!
Follow Deanne on Instagram
Osamuskwasis is a Nehiyaw Iskwew from Tsuu t’ina, Treaty 6 Territory. Known for her intricate beadwork, vibrant regalia, and traditional jingle dancing, Osamuskwasis' art celebrates the beauty of her Cree heritage. Drawing inspiration from the landscapes of her homelands, she creates stunning fabrics and designs that are perfect for powwows or everyday life. With a growing following of fans who admire her work, Osamuskwasis is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after fashionistas in the game.
Follow Osamuskwasis on Instagram
AJ Douglas Bear
We saved the best for last. AJ Douglas Bear is a force to be reckoned with in the powwow community. Her well-articulated dance moves have brought joy and medicine to the community, and her contemporary unique style of fresh moves sets her apart from other dancers. Unfortunately, her rise to fame has also brought negative feedback from those who don't appreciate her difference. The bullying she's experienced has put her off dancing, but we hope she'll continue to share her gifts with the world. AJ Douglas Bear, we see you and you are an inspiration to many of us! Keep dancing angel.
Follow AJ on Instagram to show support.
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