Monday, August 29, 2005

Raising the Tepee

Just as we finish powwow in Spokane, we start getting ready for another in Wellpinit; putting up tents, raising tepees, making dance regalia, etc. Many of the best campsites have been taken already, though our family campsite has been roped off; reserved for family members...The Orten brothers arrived days ago, and today helped me put up my pitiful little tepee. The kids went with me and enjoyed the day together.

My family has been camping at this same location since before I was born. When I was a child, family members used to arrive early and build temporary shelters and little four-walled "cook shacks." My ya-ya Messie even brought in an old pot bellied stove to cook on, and us kids would run errands all day as she made dinner for everyone in camp; things like fry bread, dumplings, or stew.

After ya-ya Messie passed away, my uncle Sam and my cousin Diane continued the tradition, though cook shacks are no longer allowed.

This will be the first year without my uncle Sam.

No comments: