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Finding Aid for the Tara Browner Collection March 18-19, 1989.
2004.10  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
From Browner's book, Heartbeat of the People: "The year 1989 marked the final time the Ann Arbor Pow-wow was held in the Hill Street Coliseum." The Ann Arbor Pow-wow: A Brief Case Study In 1989, while conducting fieldwork for a project that ultimately did not result in a filed master's thesis, I assembled a musical ethnography of the Ann Arbor, Michigan, pow-wow, at the time the largest event of its kind in the state. Since then I have danced at Ann Arbor every year, been a member of the pow-wow committee, and worked in various roles, from security and finances (counting money as it came in) to registering dancers. My project in 1989 enabled me to gather historical information on the roots of the pow-wow, and my participation in years following has allowed me to see the event grow and change. Reflecting these experiences, the information that follows is meant to provide an overview of how one small, community-based gathering has grown into a major event. Although it would be helpful to declare this particular pow-wow as representative of most events, that statement would be deceptive because pow-wows are so varied. Nevertheless, I know the Dance at Ann Arbor better than any other (except, perhaps, the UCLA Pow-wow, which is predominantly Southern) and can discuss it in the most detail. The Ann Arbor Pow-wow, part of both the larger complex of Northern pow-wow events and traditions, is representative of a typical Anishnaabeg-dominated event. Within these two larger frameworks, it is also the product of a unique set of circumstances, including (within the Detroit area) the influence of non-Anishnaabeg Indian cultures and the pressures placed upon a community-based event by a large university that intends to portray itself as supporting the Native American community. In more than a quarter-century of existence the pow-wow has changed from a small, traditional affair into a competitive extravaganza complete with concerts, affiliated "dry dances," and raffles.
Extent
1 box: 7 audio cassettes and 20 PMCDs (listening copies available in the Archive)
Restrictions
Publication Rights