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For Powwow Community Pulls Together

first_imgWhen thieves stole David Yelloweyes’ sacred eagle feathers a year and a half ago, he felt like they stole a part of him.The eagle-feather dance regalia had been passed down in his family for several generations, and without it, he couldn’t dance.“I felt like I broke tradition,” he said. “I felt like I betrayed my family.”So, when Yelloweyes, wearing new regalia, was able to dance at the Powwow at Covington Middle School in the Orchards area on Saturday, it signified something entirely new and hopeful. “I’m starting my new tradition,” he said, shortly before the Grand Entry of the Powwow.His new regalia was a patchwork of ceremonial wear donated from friends, family and strangers alike who felt compelled to help.Dressed in a white jacket and pants with colorful embroidery and a prominent headdress and bustle, Yelloweyes took the floor in the school’s gym with his fellow dancers. As a group of men pounded away in a drum circle, Yelloweyes tapped his feet and bobbed up and down to the beat. Looking serious on the outside, Yelloweyes said he felt overjoyed on the inside.“Dancing has always been something that I’ve loved,” he said. “I didn’t feel complete without dancing.”Yelloweyes once traveled the country to perform in powwows. In July 2009, he had just moved to Vancouver from Montana. His regalia, including a multicolored Mandan hat and other beaded garments, were stolen from a suitcase in the back of his Ford truck parked in the driveway of a relative’s home in Cascade Park. Yelloweyes said Saturday that Vancouver police officers never found out who did it.For a long time, Yelloweyes said, he was depressed, avoiding his friends and not going to powwows because they reminded him of his loss. Regalia isn’t something a dancer could just buy in a store. Traditionally, the ceremonial garments are bestowed by family members and each carries spiritual significance.last_img read more