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Photo of two children dancing
Bear Soto (Comanche) and Larissa No-Braid (Arikara/Oglala) do the two-step, Denver, February 1999

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The Denver March Powwow
A Local Legacy

Every year American Indians have a powwow in Denver, Colorado, that attracts people from all 50 states and 14 countries. A powwow is a social gathering of Indian peoples to honor their heritage that has been passed down through generations. More than 80 Indian tribes come to the Denver March Powwow to celebrate their history and culture through arts and crafts, storytelling, music and dance.

There are many different types of powwow dances. During InterTribal dancing, everyone from all the different tribes and all age groups dance together. Even though they are dancing as a group, each dancer moves independently to the beat of the drum - expressing his or her own feelings and creating a unique style.

Other dances include the Men's Traditional Dance. This is the oldest form of Indian dancing, and historically only the warriors were allowed to dance in a circle. This dance is a form of storytelling in which the men act out things they have done in battles or on a hunt. In the Women's Jingle Dress Dance, women wear dresses with "jingles" on them and dance in a sort of side-step around a sick person in order to help cure him.

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