The Beat of the Drum

The Beat of the Drum

If you happened to hear the beating of drums last Saturday, we promise it’s not your heart beating loudly at the thought of finals week.  Reporter Jasmin Sparkman investigated the rhythmic beating and proved that your heart is just fine.


The sound of drums could be heard on campus well into Saturday evening as the annual native American Student Association Powwow brought in families from all over Northeast Ohio.

A powwow is a cultural celebration where native families gather as a community. This year’s powwow saw a mix of people from all over ready to share their culture and dance. Different kinds of dancers sporting traditional “regalia” and “fancy” style clothing took to the beat of the drum in the arena roped together in the middle of the field next to the music and speech building. The stomping of each foot, large and small, symbolizes a different prayer for each person dancing.

The powwow’s arena and the sunny day even drew students who graduated from Kent State University last year. Former member of NASA and KSU graduate Thomas Catron was glad to be back and glad to see diverse traditions continuing on campus.

“I think it’s good to expose people to diversity,” Catron said. “Especially something that’s kind of been unsung for about 400 years.”

The Native American Student Association’s powwow is actually one of the first of the year and celebrates the coming of spring. However, a powwow means more than just celebration, good food, fun and dancing. A powwow is a time to reconnect, revitalize, and say a prayer.

Elder Marriane Saastemoinen Pumpkin, fondly referred to as just Pumpkin knows best what a powwow truly means.

“What a Powwow is to me is when I get together with family,” Pumpkin said. “I don’t enter the arena depressed, sad, or in a negative manner. When I enter the arena it’s with joy and with prayer.”

Those who entered the arena Saturday were greeted warmly by the extended family brought together by Kent State’s Native American Student Association.

For TV2 KSU, I’m Jasmin Sparkman.

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