ADAMS -- Bowe field was alive with the drumming, dancing, singing, and the smells of American Indian culture this weekend as people celebrated the 8th annual Rock, Rattle and Drum Pow Wow.
Sunday afternoon, event organizer Fidel Moreno, of the American Indian cultural non-profit Healing Winds, estimated close to 2,500 people attended the two-day event.
"A lot of people have never seen a living culture share itself," he said. "I think people are hungry, and at the same time I think there's a heartfelt desire to connect with something that's authentic."
A pow wow is a traditional gathering that Native Americans use as a place to meet, dance, and share their culture, he said. The gathering has a strong spiritual connection, he explained, shown in this year's theme -- The Gift of the Four Directions.
"It's about inclusively," he said. "It's about balance, it's about communion. And on a spiritual and material level, it's about all the forces coming together ... it's about all sectors of a community coming together. It's like all parts of a body working in unity."
Attendees were able to watch dozens of dancers, enjoy authentic American Indian music, receive blessings from a medicine man, and browse a variety of vendors.
Adams Agricultural Fair organizer Joe Martin said the fair organizers were honored to host the pow wow at Bowe Field.
"We didn't know what to expect," he said. "I'm 40-years-old and I've never, ever, been to a pow wow. And this was absolutely remarkable ... We want them to come back every single year to our grounds."
Moreno, who organizes the event with his wife, Susan Jameson, explained that the pow wow location rotates every two years to other sites in the Berkshires. Previous locations include Lanesborough and Stephentown, NY.
"These borders, on one level they're man-made and they're legal, but on another level, they're just lines on paper," he explained. "We all share the same bioregion -- the same plants, animals, waterways, rivers, mountains."
The event had something for every age group, he said, from craft vendors to performers, to games for children.
Special performers included Arvel Bird, a violinist and American Indian flutist, a winner of a Native American Music Award (NAMA), the Aztec Dancers, and the Wolf Cry Singers.
Town Administrator Jonathan Butler said the town was thrilled to be able to host the event.
"We first heard from the organization back in late winter and early spring," he said. "We've worked since then to try and compliment the event and assist them with their marketing."
Butler said he felt the event was well received.
"It brought in an outside element to the community, which is a great thing," he said. "We want to embrace the recreational, the cultural and historical."
The event drew in visitors and vendors from as far away as New Jersey and Ontario, Canada.
Approximately 30 vendors attended the event and displayed children's toys, dream catchers, moccasins, walking sticks, and even special blends of herbal teas.
"I think I'm going to buy some chamomile tea," Emily Johnston of Westfield said while perusing one vendor's table. Johnson attended the pow wow with her two children, Derek, 6, and Melissa, 3.
"We're visiting family, and it sounded like a fun event," she said. "I've always been interested in Native American culture, and wanted my children to experience it."
To reach Edward Damon, email