The Kanza people gathered for the Kaw Powwow Oct. 3 to 5, finding the warmth of the arena as they waited until Sunday to feel heat in the air.
Casey Horinek received the princess crown from her cousin, MatheAnna Williams, who is close kin to her and held the reign two of the past three years.
“She’s more like my sister,” Horinek said. “It’s really not that different since we’ve been playing princess since we were really little. It was really a nice moment to have that moment with my sister. I really didn’t think any of this would be happening. I didn’t know that I would be princess of so many different things. It was all my grandma’s grand plan.”
Horinek has also been the Tonkawa Tribe Princess and Standing Bear Powwow Princess.
“It’s equally special as those other ones. It’s another amazing title that I get to go through,” she said.
Horinek added that she grew from those experiences.
“Now I know what I’m supposed to do, so now I know what to do whenever I get time,” she said.
Robert Allen reflected on the Kaw Powwow after having also been the Head Man at the Washunga Days Powwow in Council Grove.
“It’s the same because of the circle and the drum, the singers and the dancers. We lived there, died there and were buried there. We celebrate our ancestors. We give thanks to our creator,” he said.
The flag flew in honor of Sonny Holloway on Friday, William Louis Pappan on Saturday, and Jack Benbrook on Sunday.
“It was just last year that I was standing at that flag pole with Sonny,” Johnny Pappan recalled of his cousin, who died last November at age 89.
Tribal members commemorated Holloway in a memorial before the veteran’s lunch on Friday.
On Saturday, Lieb spoke about songwriting.
“Years ago, my uncle, Harry Buffalohead, told me, ‘Maybe you’re not even trying to compose a song and a tune will come to you and the words will follow.’ That’s something that some singers are gifted with. Sometimes singers are asked to write a song, and we oblige only because of respect of those who are asking,” he said.