DURANT, Okla. (KTEN)— Hundreds of Choctaw tribal members from across the nation gathered in Durant over the weekend for the 2022 Choctaw Nation powwow.

The three-day event is one of the largest powwows in the nation.

For some, the powwow is a chance to take back and celebrate traditions that were previously frowned upon.

"I couldn't wear what you call a 'ghost dance' headdress, because it was outlawed by the government," said Choctaw and Sioux artist Gene "Iron Man" Smith. "Now, I build a ghost dance headdress to practice the culture, to practice what my ancestors couldn't do."

Choctaw vendors set up shop with artwork and hand-crafted jewelry.

Carmen Jones has been working with herbal medicine for years. This was the first powwow where she had the chance to share her craft.

"It's been really exciting because I've been able to make a lot of new connections with people; people are interested and who want to learn more about plant medicine," she said.

The weekend provided a host of showcases of tribal culture, with stickball and dance competitions.

Sunday's main attraction was the Grand Entry, where dancers in full regalia follow the presentation of flags in the arena, accompanied by drum circles and singing.

"You can sit there and watch the dancers, you can listen to the drums, but it's a different meaning when you say you feel the drums," Smith said. "You've got to be connected with Mother Earth and feel the drums."