NSU Senior Takes First Place At Powwow Dance Contest
Sonny Skye Hawk at the Dartmouth powwow 2008.
TAHLEQUAH –Northeastern State University senior Sonny Skye Hawk won first place in the Men’s Grass Dance contest during the Fourth of July Northern Cheyenne Chiefs Powwow in Lame Deer, Mont.
One of the most difficult of all contest dances, the men’s grass dance originated in the northern plains. Grass dancers dance and move in rhythm with the beat of the drum, mimicking the long prairie grass blowing in the wind.
The Northern Cheyenne Chiefs Powwow is one of a few major contest powwows going on during the Fourth of July weekend. Champion dancers from all over the nation attend and compete. This year’s event was from July 3-6.
The powwow was run on a point system and all the participants had to dance in the grand entry and during their own contest songs to receive points. Each dance category was given two songs each day, and sometimes three if the judges had a difficult time deciding between dancers.
Sonny Skye Hawk, Tahlequah, Okla., made the long drive to compete in the powwow.
I would have been happy with winning fourth place. I did not think I would have placed at all because nobody knew who I was, or where I was from,” he said. “
But to come to a powwow for the first time and compete against the best and get first place is definitely a dream come true. All the best grass dancers come from Montana and the Dakotas. I was definitely intimidated by all the great dancers I saw in my category.”
Hawk is senior at NSU majoring in cellular biology. He is the president-elect of the NSU Chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and is currently employed as a student staff assistant at the NSU Center for Tribal Studies. His tribal affiliations are Standing Rock Sioux (Lakota), Otoe-Missouria, and Loyal Shawnee. He is the son of Warren Hawk and Diane Alley, both of Tahlequah.