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Shakopee, MN – Visitors to Mall of America will have the opportunity to watch Native American singers and dancers perform at a dance exhibition in the Rotunda at Mall of America on Thursday, August 16, 2012. Dancers from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and other Indian tribes from throughout the United States will perform in the dance exhibitions as a preview to the annual SMSC Wacipi (Pow Wow) which begins the next day on the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Wacipi Grounds in Shakopee, Minnesota.
Traditional music will be provided by both a northern and a southern drum group for dancers in full regalia. The exhibition dancing will be held at 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. A Master of Ceremony will be on hand to explain to the crowd what is going on in the arena, and the drum groups will sing special songs for each style of dance. In addition to a Grand Entry Song, a Flag Song and Veterans Song will be sung.
Each dance exhibition will begin with a Grand Entry. Because Native Americans hold their veterans in high regard, the Sisseton-Wahpeton Vietnam Veterans will be present as well as other veterans who will carry flags and eagle feather staffs. Then all the dancers will file into the arena by dance category. During the dance exhibition there will be many types of dancing by both male and female dancers of all ages. They will wear spectacular, colorful regalia specific to their dance styles, which include feather bustles, bells, beadwork, buckskin, moccasins, shawls, and more.
In a special event at 3:30 p.m., there will be a program honoring veterans. During this special time, the story of Native Americans and their willingness to serve in the United States military will be featured, though all veterans will be invited to participate. The Sisseton Wahpeton Vietnam Veterans will participate along with other veterans. Veterans, both native and non-native, are invited to participate in this event.
Visitors to the MOA will also see a traditional Dakota tipi, which will be on display in the Sears Court during the exhibition. Wacipi buttons which allow admission to the SMSC Wacipi will be available for purchase at the Mystic Lake Store at Mall of America. Admission, which is $5 for the entire weekend, includes an evening meal on Saturday and lunch on Sunday catered by Mystic Lake Casino Hotel as well as the commemorative button and Wacipi Program. Admission is free to elders 60 and older and children 10 and under. Parking is free.
The Pow Wow Exhibition is free and open to the public. For more information about this event or the SMSC’s annual Wacipi, please visit www.shakopeedakota.org. Information may also be found at www.facebook.com/shakopeepowwow.