Aside from the title and a preoccupation with sex, this Powwow Shades of Grey is nothing like 50 Shades of Grey so don’t worry. What you have here is a gateway to a cultural comedy not usually present in mainstream media. Those unfamiliar with powwow jargon may not understand some of the jokes, but fear not, there is still plenty of hilarity to enjoy, courtesy of Obijway-Metis comedian Ryan McMahon. The story of eight chapters is told in serialized tweets, showing the thoughts and witticisms of an “Indian Dude.” It is a mastery of this art form.
Powwows are a plains indian tradition that has since become an intertribal gathering celebrating First Nations culture. The Grand Entry opens the session of socializing, music, dancing, food, and vendors. Don Eagle Smile is at one such summer event when he is struck by the hotness of powerful woman by the name of Glenda Old Crow. After musing on her he asks the spirits to help him snag, then starts his wooing. Circumstance and unwitting self-sabotage stand in his way but it’s the journey that counts.
For man whose main goal is to get laid, Don is rather endearing for his dorkiness and the dramatic lengths he goes to. His speech pattern, frankness and descriptive imagery is distinct to ndn humor. It most certainly rings true to powwow culture. If you have never been in contact with rez life, people, or media, you’re likely to feel like you’re experiencing something entirely different. Twitter fiction is most certainly an interesting and relatively new medium of storytelling. Here you will see family shenanigans, powwow interactions, and beauty described in unconventional ways. It is a slice of contemporary Indian life, unabashedly complete with the less comfortable aspects of being human. Ethnic humor is funniest from the inside, but those who aren’t indigenous can still enjoy the erotica and the silliness.