Last Friday, March 23, 2007, when I was very sick after having returned from snowy Montreal, I decided to go to POW WOW in Denver with my Mom.

POW WOW is a Native American festival where hundreds of nations across America gather to dance, sing and get to know each other.

First time in my life I saw real America – the real beauty of America with her tortured children who were celebrating survival, their survival.

Glenn Morris, indigenous politics professor at the University of Colorado at Denver, told our class this past Thursday that when he was taken to a Native American reservation in Costa Rica in 1986, he felt embarrassed that he had been told in all his academic life (plus a law degree from Harvard) that there were no Native Americans in Costa Rica. His new friends in Costa Rica started to laugh when Prof. Morris made his confession. The Native Costa Ricans told him not to worry – they, too, thought there were no Indians left in America.

And perhaps most people in the world have no idea about festivals like POW WOW. Neither do most people who live in Colorado. Most of the audience were Native Americans themselves, who had traveled to see their brothers and sisters dance and sing. Where was white America? I guess in AMCs or other movie theaters to watch “300” in order to reaffirm their hatred for the Iranians, or the savage Persians.

But in POW WOW, I did not care about white America. I was in real America; I was with the real landlords of my apartment who were there to show me the beauty of survival; who were there to tell me that no matter what and no matter when, genocide survival is inevitable and will be celebrated one day.

My romanticized amazement for Native America was shared by the person I had went with – my Mom.  She wanted to be photographed with every Native American she saw. For me it meant taking photographs every minute of my presence in POW WOW at the Denver Coliseum.

Surprisingly, she now wants me to post her photographs at Blogian. And since it is April 1 today, why not?

Well, I can’t post the rest of the 270 photographs; the internet is too slow…

But I have to post this one! This photo is from yesterday. My Mom had mask on her face and she reminded me of POW WOW. So I asked her where the Navajo souvenir arrow we bought at the festival was. When she brought it, I took this photo.