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.