Key-Hole Canyon

Several years ago I had the opportunity to visit a friend living in Las Vegas. I had many adventures during the time that I was there, but perhaps the highlight of the trip was sleeping in the Nevada desert at Key-hole Canyon. It is a sacred site to the indigenous of that area and the rocks are covered with many carvings and petroglyphs. The canyon itself is peasant but unimpressive, however the markings which is all that remains of the tribes that lived in this area are incredible.

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The Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam is situated on the border between the States of Nevada and Arizona. It is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado river. On the day I visited the temperatures were nearly 102 degrees – the baking sun reflecting off the concrete structure making it seem even hotter… It is an impressive spectacle to say the least. The drop off on the other side of the dam, would turn even the strongest of stomachs… I was however most impressed by the toilets which had amazing golden doors…which reminded me of the doors of the “Vishnu” temple high up in the hills of the Himalayas, at Muktinath.

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Snow Mountain Annual Pauite Pow wow 2014

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be able to attended the Snow Mountain Paiute Annual Pow wow 2014. I was visiting a friend in Las Vegas. Part of my reason for the trip, certainly the timing, was that the Annual Paiute Pow Wow was being held just north of Las Vegas, in the Snow Mountain reservation. We arrived in late afternoon and waited for the event to begin. The Sun was sinking when we arrived. ┬áThere was a prayer to the four directions going on as we entered the dusty area where the Pow wow was to be held. This prayer involved traditional beliefs intertwined with Christian ideals, which surprised me. Four of the elders, led by drumming and chanting from the various competitors, moved out into the arena to “clean” the ritual space. Each took a direction. They then in turn danced and seemed to offer prayers to their chosen direction. This they did for each of the four directions in turn until they came full circle. Then the Pow Wow could begin. The Competitors entered the arena behind flag bearers, holding aloft the American flag and triumphantly danced their way into and around the arena. It was an incredible display of colour, skill and finesse. The competition began; the dancing was something else. There were representatives present from what seemed like every corners of north America including Canada – the competition was divided up regionally, presumably as the dance styles varied so much. The outstanding dances for me were the Chicken Dance and the very energetic Warhorse Dance. For each type of dance and in every category they entered the arena. In bright colours and feathers, they took their turn and danced into the night, to a delighted crowd……

Grand Entrance

Prayer

Dance commences

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Chicken Dance

Warhorse Dance

Night falls

Young Warrior

The women

The night carries on