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Denver March Powwwow fills Denver with color and beat of drums

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Looking to get away to an exotic location that’s completely different with color, music and dance? Then head to the Denver Coliseum for the the Denver March Powwow, March 18-20. This is one of the largest Native American gatherings in the country. More than 1,600 dancers from 100 tribes, representing 38 states and three Canadian provinces come to Denver for three-days of singing, dancing, storytelling, food and art.

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The modern Powwow is a social occasion for Indian peoples to come together to sing and dance and honor the heritage that has been passed down to them from their ancestors. Modern Powwow has different styles derived from traditional dances of the various tribes, but the individual dances are not specific to any one tribe - though they are often associated with a particular geographical area. The dances fall into three basic configurations" the Grand Entry, Intertribal Dances and Contests.

Shopping is another big activity. The Coliseum is lined with more than 170 booths selling a variety of Native American art works and products, including jewelry, blankets, pottery and beadwork – all from skilled Indian craftsman. Visitors can sample Native American foods such as fry bread and Indian tacos or buy an authentic Cheyenne arrow or a Sioux tomahawk.

But the most fun is the dancing. Intertribal dancing means: "Everybody dance!" During these dances, you may see all the different styles of Powwow dancers, while 60 drummers and chanters keep up an incredible beat. The essential nature of Indian dancing is that it is an individual activity, pursued in a group. Each dancer moves independently to the beat of the drum, creating an individual style. It is an amazing swirl of color and excitement, and great for photos. Many of the women have hundreds of bells sewn into their dresses, setting off a pleasant chime, while dozens of men fill the room with ancient chants.