Dance
Marine tribute Native American dancing powwow
This is the America we love to see.
Kenny Fernandez
07.25.21

In a world oftentimes filled with negativity, there was a video that circulated the internet that captured people’s attention in a positive way.

A Marine had been invited to participate in a Native American powwow ceremony and was honored there at the same time. However, what really stood out is when he joined in on a traditional dance alongside a man dressed in a Native American headpiece.

YouTube Screenshot
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YouTube Screenshot

The whole scene took place at the Iowa Powwow, an annual event hosted by the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma.

Facebook/Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma
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Facebook/Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma

As explained on the Bahkhoje website – it’s a weekend full of dancing, dance competitions, singing, feasting – and where life and fellowship are celebrated. They also say:

“This is the time when veterans, chiefs, royalty, and dancers make a grand entrance into the sacred arena. Flags are carried by veterans to honor our fallen, retired, and present veterans.”

Facebook/Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma
Source:
Facebook/Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma

Lance Corporal Marland Trey Kent was asked to join in on the powwow that year. He even had the opportunity to carry the American flag into the arena during the Friday ceremony.

Pexels
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Pexels

But it was another activity that the Marine took part in that ended up going viral. While dressed in uniform, he took center-view and began impressively dancing in a traditional style. The man next to him in the Native American attire isn’t just a stranger though – he’s his father.

YouTube Screenshot
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YouTube Screenshot

Corporal Vincent Kent was there that evening as well in celebration of the Bahkhoje people. Like his son, he was also on active duty.

Pixabay
Source:
Pixabay

Everyone watched as Lance Corporal Marland Trey Kent and his father danced to the music while staying in unison. The sight is powerful with the blending of Native American culture and the United States military culture. Together, the men performed a Native American version of “changing of the guard.”

A group of other participants followed close behind the duo as they danced. From young to old, some dressed in uniforms and others dressed in traditional clothing.

YouTube Screenshot
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YouTube Screenshot

The scene was captured by Hugh Foley, who then posted the video from the Iowa Powwow on YouTube.

It quickly went viral and made headlines across the internet. Afterward, Corporal Vincent Kent contacted the channel and provided a few details. He even explained that the pair were actually experienced in dancing. He said:

“We did not practice this dance because we are both straight dancers from the Ponca War Dance Society. That’s how come he busted a move like he did!”

YouTube Screenshot
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YouTube Screenshot

Many people left comments on Hugh Foley’s YouTube channel in response to the video. One person felt emotional after watching it.

“I cried when I saw this man dancing in a uniform. I could feel just how prideful and honored he felt for his roots, and to me that’s one of the most beautiful ways to display your heritage! I love it!!”

YouTube Screenshot
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YouTube Screenshot

Another was reminded of their own background.

“Seeing this brings back memories… to see an Iowa dance;., And, I am proud to be from my multi cultural home state of Oklahoma It makes me feel good to see 2 warriors.”

It’s not every day that you see a father and son celebrate their culture together so beautifully, while also honoring their military backgrounds. You can watch them dance for yourself in the video below!

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By Kenny Fernandez
hi@sbly.com
Kenny Fernandez is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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