Friday, some people experienced the Gathering of Nations for the first time, and it was online DNA tests that got them interested. Once a year for three days, Indigenous people from all over travel to Albuquerque to embrace in fellowship and tradition.
“It’s so beautiful and every dance means something different,” Mary O’Sullivan said.
O’Sullivan is from Yuma, Arizona. She said for years she’s heard about the event, but it wasn’t until she took a DNA test that pushed her to make the trip. She said the results proved she was part Native American.
“We found out that we’re Isleta Pueblo, so we came to visit the reservation and do the PowWow at the same time,” said O’Sullivan.
She’s not the only one. Kim Trujillo has lived in New Mexico her entire life and she experienced her first PowWow on Friday. Three years ago, through the online company called Ancestry, she found out she was 30 percent Native American.
“I was shocked,” she said, but at the same time eager to meet new family.
“I have cousins, and I met one of them today at the PowWow and we’ve been talking for three years,” Trujillo said.
When the PowWow’s grand entry at Albuquerque’s Tingley Coliseum began Friday, both Trujillo and O’Sullivan were there to celebrate.
“It was really neat to see all the culture, the colors and just so much life,” Trujillo said. “It was a great experience.”