Twenty-seven-year-old full blooded Native American Ansel Deon is immersed in cultural pride.
"Pow Wow is a way to express those celebrations and traditions, because it’s a way of promoting ourself to the masses about American Indians and maintaining culture,” he said.
That culture took center stage at the 49th Annual O-Sa-Wan Pow Wow, an event to celebrate Native American traditions with festive dance and fellowship.
"For American Indian people, they live by this. This is a way of life for them," organizer Carol Baxter said.
The Pow Wow includes more than a dozen cultural dances from Native American tribe members, and Americans swept up by the spirit of the tribal beat.
"Being an American, I think there's a loss of culture here sometimes. We don't have a lot of culture other than money. There's a lot of symbolism and ceremony to be done here. It feels like a deeper meaning," Allen Daily said.
But most importantly, the Pow Wow educates visitors by dispelling stereotypes and teaching the truth.
"Indians are alive and well. We do have culture. We do have religion. We like to joke around. We are just people," Deon said.
They are people sharing and reflecting their past history with a modern tradition: the Pow Wow.
The 49th annual O-Sa-Wan Pow Wow will continue on Sunday from 11 a.m. to three p.m. at the Boone County Fairgrounds. A general donation is four dollars per person.