Bluff City Pow Wow brings ancient traditions to life in Rockport


By Don Steen ~ Staff Writer –

ROCKPORT – The 17th Annual Bluff City Pow Wow gathered members of the First Nations from across the country Saturday and Sunday, filling Rockport City Park with friends and guests (as well as the odd plane from the Owensboro Air Show). Native Americans and their descendants demonstrated the immensely varied and complex culture of their ancestors, from their colorful garb to music and ritual dances. Vendors even offered a taste of some Native American cuisine, including buffalo burgers and frybread.

Frybread is a more recent innovation. Displaced Native Americans living on reservations had little to work with, and so made the best with the simple staples at their disposal. 

The Navajo, forced from their homes in Arizona to reservations in New Mexico, found that their traditional crops would not easily grow in the harsh land the federal government permitted them. With little more than the basic ingredients for bread offered by way of support, the community developed a recipe for a simple flat bread that could be cooked with hot lard. Today it is often the basis of desserts, or sometimes cooked around a hot dog, creating the “Rez Dog” available at Rockport last weekend. 

Read more on this story in this week’s issue of the Spencer County Leader!

The Cherokee Flag was among many flags present at the Pow Wow.

A drum circle was one of many performances that took place at the event.

Pow Wow attendees got a glimpse of a massive 4-engine plane that flew over the event.

Ceremonial dancers perform the Grand Entry dance at the Bluff City Pow Wow in Rockport.

A group leads a ceremonial prayer during the Pow Wow.

A group of ceremonial performers dressed in full regalia.

Standard ceremonial flag bearers processing at the Pow Wow.

Many vendors were present at the Pow Wow selling various crafts.