110th Annual Arlee Celebration

Celebration!I spent the Fourth of July as a spectator/guest at the 110th Annual Arlee Celebration – the annual Fourth of July Powwow in Arlee, Montana.  Snake Dance

I was privileged to watch the Snake Dance (held only on the Fourth of July) which was traditionally held to begin a war dance.  It is led by a chosen man who leads the dancers single file, weaving back and forth in the fashion of a snake while drummers and singers beat and sing the Snake Dance Song.  All registered dancers (dance contest entrants) participate in full regalia.

Veteran's MemorialFollowing the Snake Dance, a Veteran’s Memorial, honoring past and present Veterans of the US Armed Forces was held.  All Veterans, of all Nations, American Indian or non-Indian, were invited to participate.  They danced in a circle, led by the Veteran’s Warrior Society, then a microphone was passed around and War Dancingeach Veteran, or, in some cases family members representing service members currently deployed, introduced themselves and told what branch of service, years and conflicts they served in.   War Dancing followed…


The colorful and intricately detailed regalia, the drumming, the singing and the dancing were all extremely beautiful,as was the wFriendsarm, friendly and celebratory mood of the day









Babe in arms


Participants spanned the generations…









Child Dancing









…and a great time was had by all.

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