KayLynn Roberts-McMurray
The Ely Shoshone Powwow event begins on Friday and runs through Sunday.

Drums beating, dancers moving, singers chanting native songs, and a bright array of reggalia, will set the scene for this weekends’ Ely Shoshone Powwow & Fandango.

The event begins on Friday July 26 and runs through Sunday, July 28 at 250 Heritage Drive in Ely. The Ely Shoshone Powwow & Fandango includes a celebration of Native American heritage with traditional dancing and music. There will be Gourd dancers, tournaments of Hand Games, Archery, Corn Hole, Horseshoes, and Volleyball. Other activities include a parade, BBQ, craft and food Booths, a raffle, fun run walk, veteran’s recognition, bounce house, Karoke, and much more. Admission is free.

Grand entry will take place Friday evening at 6 p.m., and this year’s Master of Ceremonies will be Tyson Shay, from Fort Hall, Idaho.

The event also boasts the variety of Native American food, art and craft booths. Artists featuring works in a variety of intricate Native American beadwork to authentic jewelry will have their work on display.

Several pow-wow dancers from around the United States gather at this event to perform, and compete for prizes. Drum groups share captive music as dancers energetically move with meaning and purpose.

Much of the regalia the performers wear takes months and sometimes years to piece together. Many are family heirlooms that are worn adding even more effect to the traditions displayed at this event.

The fandango has long been referred to as a social event that mainly involves dancing.

Fandangos were done all over, before there were cars and people would either walk or travel by horse.

Many may wonder what Fandango means? The word fandango is a Spanish word that was adopted over time since the Spanish were the first to make contact with the Shoshones.

Gourd dancing returns this year as well. Inspired by both legend and history, the gourd dance ceremony is an essential part of the Kiowa people. A dance that was banned by the federal government in the late 19th century, and revived in 1946.

The dance is performed by men only, a dance that was often performed by warriors and veterans. The dance is spirited and meaningful, yet has little movement. The songs matter as much as the steps though.

A drum is placed in the center of the arena or the side. Dancers take their place around the perimeter of the area. Dancers dance in place, lifting their feet in time to the drumbeats, and shaking their gourds from side to side.