I recently had the honor of attending the Gathering of Nations festival. To those of you that aren’t familiar with the event, it’s a giant 3 day Powwow that celebrates Native American culture in Albuquerque. This event has been held for the past 32 years and continues to grow in numbers each year.
I’d been considering going for a while but since I live in Arizona it would be quite the drive for one festival. It was definitely worth the mileage though. They advertise as one of the largest Native American Powwows in the country and they do not disappoint.
I’ve only been to a few smaller powwows across the west but I have never seen anything so massive before. It was simply amazing and the entertainment they had was fit for the size.
Something I have never seen before was the crowning of “Miss Indian World”. This was a breathtaking talent show that expressed the diverse culture and beautiful history of the Native American people.
Their website also quotes an astounding 3,000 Native American singers, dancers, and performers in addition to the Miss Indian World contest. It was simply a culturally enriching experience to hear the music and see so many dancers perform.
The one thing you need and that no performance can match is food and I can say everything was delicious. Everything I ate definitely packed a punch but I gorged myself on every cart and stand available.
Gathering of Nations: Native American Jewelry
What really caught my eye were the traders and their Native American jewelry pieces. There were hundreds of pieces to choose from but I really wanted to stick with the beautiful silverwork I saw displayed by the vendors.
I ended up spending a few hundred dollars for this stunning sterling silver necklace with a light turquoise set in the center. The silverwork alone is gorgeous but the shape of the turquoise really ties everything together. I wanted to go with silver because Native American jewelry is the standard when it comes to working with sterling silver.
Unfortunately, you can only get the pieces I bought if you went to the Powwow but I did manage to find a similar necklace on one of the Native American jewelry sites I frequently visit, SilverTribe.com. They have great deals on necklace and earring sets.
I could only go for one day but I encourage anyone to go to this event someday, especially if you’ve never been to something like this before. Sometimes it’s good to just immerse yourself in a new experience.