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Velma's Work
Valiantly Velma - Page 26

Malaguena at the Pow-Wow - A wonderful reunion with cousin Ura May

A call was made to Velma and Lee’s niece at Wheatridge, which was not far from Colorado springs. Ura May agreed to bring her four sons with her for a visit to the pow-wow and her aunt and uncle’s camp.

Ura May arrived that evening just before supper and it was a treasured reunion for meeting her children. So many years had been lost between the time when both families had moved away from the ranch lands. Her oldest boy was around fourteen so that is how long it had been since the families had enjoyed time together. He brought his accordion and the most pleasant after dinner entertainment was so delightful as he played the beautiful classical and popular melodies. A special favorite was Malaguena. John didn’t miss a note. It was refreshing to see how willing he was to perform. Not one time did the boy hold back and pretend to be shy. What a memorable evening that was. The fineness of Ura May’s upbringing at Lee and Velma’s hands was lovely beyond words as she went ahead with her inherited, Grandmother Collin’s, love of music to teach her own children.

When the ceremonies started Ura May had brought her shawl along and joined Velma in the arena. Something about her dancing next to Velma and doing everything correctly, just as if she had never been away from her Osage, people, was sad and everyone felt it, although the dignity of her bearing and respect was truly, easily seen and to be respected. She moved easily into the dances, stepping carefully, while the woman’s facial concentration and far ahead gaze, took her to a place in history where her ancestors performed the dances not for pleasure alone, but as a form of worship, too. Velma had instructed her well, while she was a young woman. Even the way she wore her shawl with it neatly pulled around her in a careful way told she had knowledge of propriety as far as correct attitude and behavior inside the circle was concerned. The shawl symbolized respect for the Great Spirit and Ura May had not forgotten that.

Her sons stayed at the camp but they could see the participants from where they were sitting. It was obvious the developing boys were hungry for visiting with family and not once did they leave the area. One of them was especially careful to stay close. He was the one who became an attorney, educating himself after his mother and father’s death. The tie with family was so strong at the time it was almost spiritual, but again, the realities that this was only for a golden moment made them sad and no one could not get around that. That is until the clown.

The clown in his feed sack britchclout and dime store moccasins brought so much laughter he broke the heaviness of the evening. It seemed as if he sensed their appreciation and performed just for them. One after another, each stunt was more outrageous than the one before. He danced on the benches. He kept dropping parts of his regalia; his fan, an armband and most hilarious of all, his belt, where upon, he had to hurriedly grab his pants and hold them up for the rest of that dance. The boys laughed, heartily, and so did everyone else.

No sooner had the pow-wow ended than it began to pour rain. The small group all ran for shelter and huddled together in the tiny tent trailer to avoid getting soaked. There were no seats so they all stood, huddled together like so many drenched chickens with their feathers down.

“You boys still want to go into the mountain to camp?” Ura May grinned as she, no doubt, was reminding them of repeated, previous requests.

They were making no comments but rolled their eyes around as if they were wise to their mother’s methods. Velma’s taught Ura May and evidently the woman used the same ways of reasoning for discipline on her boys as Velma must have used on her as a girl.

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