A Tulsa tradition that dates back to the 1940s is getting bigger every year. The Tulsa Powwow started out as a gathering of friends and family in a backyard, but now it is a major event at the Cox Business Center,
The Tulsa Indian Club is hosting the 63rd annual event this year.
It is a showcase of tradition and culture from tribes across the state and country.
Skidi Leading Fox is this year’s Tulsa Powwow Princess, and she accepted the title while donning beautiful handmade regalia, each object with deep meaning to her culture.
“The last princess that gave her title up to me, she gave these to me, my mom's friend made these for me, and my aunt made this for me,” she said.
An honor one teen girl holds every year.
"I remember when I was little and I wanted to be princess really bad, and they would always look so pretty and I was like, ‘mom I want to be that when I get older,’” Leading Fox said.
Leading Fox is a member of the Pawnee Nation and says she's been coming to powwows like this one since she was 3 years old. It is a way to celebrate her heritage and keep family traditions alive.
Robert Anquoe is a member of the Kiowa tribe. His family helped found the club and the powwow in the 1947. He says the big event started in his uncle's back yard -- a far cry from the busy event today.
"It's a celebration; it's a social gathering for many tribes, and they come together and they share traditions and customs,” Anquoe said.
It’s a gathering bringing together not only members of many tribes but also nontribal members.
Leading Fox says it's an experience that to many is sacred as they watch the dances and connect with the songs.
A way to reflect, learn and celebrate traditions never to be forgotten.
"It just makes them feel good to be here...around the drum,” she said.