Drums and dancing are expected to draw an estimated 20,000 people to Haskell Indian Nations University's annual graduation powwow.
The powwow will be May 8-10. It will include Native American dancers, music and art; organizers expect between 700 and 900 dancers to compete.
``We just want to share and exchange our culture,'' Franda Flyingman, co-chair of the event, said.
This year, the powwow committee tried to take a traditional, tribal approach, she said.
The 14th annual powwow is one of the region's largest. More than 80 food and art vendors are expected.
Haskell's commencement is 10 a.m. May 8. The powwow, held in the Haskell Stadium, will start at 7 p.m. graduation day.
Apache Crown Dancers and hoop dancers will perform Friday and Saturday nights.
At 10 a.m. May 9, dancers will parade downtown in their finery. The Kiowa Gourd Clan of Oklahoma will take part in a gourd dance in the afternoon. Cornel Pewewardy will play his flute, and Miss Haskell 1998 will be crowned in the evening.
Dancers from the region will compete in a wide-range of categories for thousands of dollars in prize money. Competitions will be held throughout the powwow. Men can compete in fancy, straight, traditional and grass dance contests. Women can enter buckskin, cloth, fancy and shawl dance competitions. The categories are divided into divisions by age. The top five dancers in each division and category will win cash prizes.
Admission is $5 a day or $12 for the weekend; children 7 to 12 years old are $3 a day. Children 6 years old and younger are free.
For more information, call powwow co-chairs Darrell and Franda Flyingman at 749-8485 of 749-0489.
-- Felicia Haynes' phone message number is 832-7173. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.