Thursday, June 10, 2010

Paiute Snow Mountain Pow Wow

A Pow Wow is a ceremony where Native Americans gather together to join in dancing, singing, visiting, and reviving old friendships and making new ones. It's also a time to renew the old ways, preserving the rich heritage of Native Americans.

The Las Vegas Paiute Tribe put on the 21st annual Pow Wow over Memorial Day weekend and we were lucky enough to have a chance to attend. It was indeed a fantastic experience.

The Las Vegas Paiute reservation consists of 3,800 acres located twenty miles northwest of Central Las Vegas.

Dancing is a big part of any Pow Wow.

Many of today's dances are social and may have had different meanings in the past.

Dance styles and content has changed through the years but their meaning and inportance has not. The outfits worn today have also evolved over time.

Dance categories range from Tiny Tots, to Juniors, to Teens, to Adults, and Golden Age.

There are separate divisions for men and women and a vast number of categories including Fancy Shawl, Jingle, Grass, Traditional, Fancy Bustle, and even a Chicken Dance.

decorative beadwork

Yes there was a wooden Native American statue.

*What's a Pow Wow?

*Pow Wow Etiquette


more - Paiute Snow Mountain Pow Wow

Pow Wows begin with a Grand Entry with a color guard leading the way into the arena. All participants of the Pow Wow then follow into the arena,
The United States Flag is always present despite the horrible treatment Native Americans have received from this country. The U.S. flag has multiple meanings. It is used to remember all the Native Americans who fought against this country as well as being a symbol of the country all Native Americans belong to now. It also reminds people of all the Native Americans who have fought for this country.

Elders entering arena.

Dressed for Fancy Dancing.

Don't miss it if you get a chance to attend a Pow Wow. Check the Calendar for one near you.

Eating Las Vegas

Vegas is still there, even though Seigfried and Roy are no longer performing.
There is the new City Center and everything seems a little more crowded on the strip but not much else has changed.
People still stagger through the streets with yard long cocktails occasionally tripping over themselves, Elvis is still spotted on every other street corner, and the streets are still littered with "rent-a-babe" cards.
But people come to Vegas not just to leave their money at the casinos. they also need to eat.

Mon Ami Gabi at Paris. Still the best semi-upscale eatery on the strip.
Great food, decent wine list, unbeatable location, long lines, and all at fairly reasonable prices.

Mmmmmm. Chocolate.

The new City Center, smack in the middle of The Strip, had it's grand opening late last year.
The massive complex took a big hit with the downturn in the economy so you'll see plenty areas which are still unoccupied. But if you have a spare million, you can still get a high-rise studio condo here.
Fashion Show Mall on the strip. Kinda interesting architecture outside. Typical fashion mall inside. It's right across the street from the no so interesting Wynn.

Smack in the middle of the strip with the old Ballys Casino being overshadowed by the new City Center. Caesars, Paris, MGM, Bellagio, and Planet Hollywood are all a stones throw away.
If you're a buffet hound, and all the casinos have at least one, the Bellagio's is pretty good with plenty of variety, although the food seems a bit fresher at the Wynn's buffet.

Italian. Almost a universal theme in Las Vegas.

Then there's a fantastic Chinese (Hunan) restaurant in Chinatown called Dongting Spring.
Chinatown, like almost everything else in Las Vegas, is located in a strip mall. It's about two and a half blocks long located on Spring Mountain and Valley View, just a few blocks north of the Rio.
Here you'll get anything from Chinese to Thai to Korean food, and even Hawaiian.
Steamed pumpkin with dried dates in a honey sauce.

A specialty of the house, spicy smoked ham with fresh bamboo shoots.

Lamb in chili sauce. If you ask for medium spicy, it'll be very spicy. This is after all a Hunan restaurant.

Orange Chicken unlike any you've had before.
Don't go to DongTing Spring if you're expecting the best sweet and sour pork you've ever had.
You'll be sorely disappointed.
However, if your tastes in Chinese food go beyond the typical "Chinese Rack Food Restaurants" you'll find some interesting things to sample on the menu here.
The menu is predominately Hunan so things tend to be different from your typical "Mandarin style" restaurant.
It's true, the staff doesn't speak much English, but the menu does and you'll find some familiar dishes cooked in a not so familiar style.
Many of the spicy dishes are cooked in a very similar style. Try a variety of dishes, meat/seafood/vegetables, cooked in different ways. Otherwise you'll get very similar tasting dishes only with different ingredients.

DongTing Spring (Google Maps)