~ Dance Grounds ~
In looking back, the one event in preparation for the first Return to Pimiteoui Powwow that most easily illustrates the spirit in which the event took form, was the construction of the Dance Grounds. As the event drew near, and the planning indicated that it was time to construct the grounds, a date was assigned that turned out to be a very cold (43deg.) day, with wind blowing and an incessant intermitent light rain. All the help was assembled, and the equipment, so postponing the construction was out of the question.
We had close to a hundred posts to erect, to make the brush arbor for the drums, and then the periphery of shelters that would outline the dance circle, as brush arbors for the spectators. About half the holes were dug by hand, and the other half were dug by hand-held post hole digger. The poles were all located, holes dug and posts set, then the lattice work for the roofs of the brush arbors was constructed. (this would later be the support for the willow branches that would provide shade). All in all, there were just 7- 9 people working on the project, and the work was completed in a little less than 8 hours.
After a bone-chilling days work in the rain, the only thing that warmed the little group, was the sight of the dance grounds, looking exactly like the dream that had started out as simple sketches in our minds. And, moreover, it was knowing that the dedication to this purpose is what made the work easy to do, with cheerful hearts, under the worst of conditions.