Saturday, March 23, 2019

Eagle Butte
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy

Iron Lightning celebration unites for fun under the sun

The 33rd Annual Wakinyan Maza Wokiksuye celebration took place on July 3-4 in Iron Lightning. The celebration started on Tuesday with a dance featuring live music from The Tribesman band. After supper was served that evening, another social dance was held.

The Wakinyan Maza Wacipi took place on Wednesday with the first grand entry at 1 p.m. Wakinyan Maza Oka and Cherry Creek Singers sang wacipi songs throughout the day, as dancers from all categories danced on beat.

Rabbit and potato dances took place at the wacipi, with other games around the wacipi grounds including volleyball, soccer, kids’ games, and horseshoe.

Miss He Sapa Win 2017-2018 Genevieve Iron Lightning was honored at the wacipi. In her speech, Iron Lightning said she was happy to be in her home community where her tiospaye is from. She also gave a message to youth about learning the Lakota culture and traditions. Iron Lightning was greeted with handshakes and hugs, and an honor song was performed for her.

Over 50 runners of all ages participated in the 5K foot race, and the top five male and female runners were each awarded a trophy. An honor song was performed for all the runners who participated in the race.

The big attraction for the day was the annual “suicide” ride. Riders on horseback began their race trekking down a hill, racing full-speed up another hill, and ending with a heart-pounding ride down “suicide hill.”

Spectators eagerly donated money to the winner-take-all prize, which added up to hundreds of dollars. Three courageous riders crossed the finish line to the sounds of akeeshas, lilis, applause, and blaring car horns.

The heat did not deter dancers from attending the annual powwow in Iron Lightning July 4. Photo by Alaina Beautiful Bald Eagle

More wacipi dancing, singing, and socializing took place throughout evening before families headed home. It was another successful gathering in Wakinyan Maza Wokiksuye.