INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' DAY

Photos: The real rituals of Native Americans make a beautiful protest of a phony US holiday

On Monday, October 9—also known as Columbus Day in the US—while residents of New York City debated whether statutes of the man responsible for setting in motion New World genocide and slave trading should be allowed to stand, members of some 75 Native American tribes gathered for second day on Randall’s Island to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead.

Revellers get ready to perform during a "pow-wow" celebrating the Indigenous Peoples' Day Festival in Randalls Island, in New York
(Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)

“It was acknowledging that indigenous people are still here after 526 years of colonization, genocide, murder, and all the atrocities that took place in the name of Columbus,” said Cliff Matias, director of the Redhawk Native American Arts Council, the non-profit which organized the two-day celebration. “We had a sunrise ceremony where elders and leaders from the various tribes in the area came out. We had a tobacco ceremony, and a pipe ceremony honoring mother earth and the sky and the water.”

A reveller dances during a "pow-wow" celebrating the Indigenous Peoples' Day Festival in Randalls Island, in New York
(Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)
A reveller performs during a "pow-wow" celebrating the Indigenous Peoples' Day Festival in Randalls Island, in New York
(Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)
Revellers perform during a "pow-wow" celebrating the Indigenous Peoples' Day Festival in Randalls Island, in New York
(Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)
A reveller perform a dance during a "pow-wow" celebrating the Indigenous Peoples' Day Festival in Randalls Island, in New York
(Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)
A reveller gets ready to dance during a "pow-wow" celebrating the Indigenous Peoples' Day Festival in Randalls Island, in New York
(Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)

Read next: Happy Columbus Day, America! Let’s call it 84 years and give it a rest

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