The best thing about geography (and also journalism) is getting to go to new places and see interesting things. One of the great things about my university is their annual Pow Wow. This pow wow also happens to be the biggest in Southern California.
It is held at my university because the land used to belong to the Puvunga people. The land is considered sacred by them and there are plans to rebury ancestors found there years ago. There is a small plot of land left untouched where the Puvunga people continue to practice their traditional rituals. As a geography student, I was able to visit it (though anyone can trek down there and see it if they want to).
The Puvunga pow wow has several traditional dances, most of which are also competitions. There are even one or two dances where anyone can join in. I have yet to do so, but there is always next year. There are also many booths selling Native American goods as well as food. Even if you are not someone who typically goes to pow wows the food at this one is worth the trip. Try the Navajo tacos. You can thank me later. They look more like a pie or pizza and are as big as the plate. Just thinking about them makes my mouth water.
While my time at the pow wow was just to have fun, my fellow geographer and president of the Geography Student Association (GSA), Tyler Sonnichsen decided to be the journalist of the day and got some great interviews and tons of information. You can listen to it on his radio show/podcast blog, The Casual Geographer (episode 30).
My love of pow wows is long standing. I used to go to one in Florida when I was a child. It was very small, but one time they had horses. I rode one, but it is an experience I won’t be repeating. I am still glad that I tried it. I am also part Cherokee, so I am glad I can participate in an aspect of my heritage through pow wows.
Have fun and do some of your own exploring. You never know what you might find!