Pow Wow Gathering
Pow Wow use to be spelled Pau Wua. Pau Wau meant Spiritual gathering.
This Pow Wow is a gathering of North American First Nations people who join in dancing, singing and drumming and other activities. They are representing various tribes and styles. The Pow Wow is a time of preserving a rich heritage and keeping the traditional ways alive. It is for celebrating, sustaining and bridging the traditions of the Native people. The Pow wow is a time to laugh and have fun, a time to gather with old friends and to make new friends. It is also a time for celebrating, healing, guidance and mourning. Pow wow activities are social and recreational, but it also has a deeper spiritual and religious significance.
This Pow Wow Gathering is non-competitive and family oriented.
This Pow Wow Gathering is to educate the public,
not to entertain the public.
We don't have any competitions or allow any. For example we do not have competitive dancing for prize money. We do not pay any of the dancers or drums to participate. We do collect donations some of those donations are via a blanket dance. We do not allow money pegging of the dancers and we do not have Head dancers. We do not have people who want to dance register or wear numbers. We do not required fancy regalia/traditional ceremonial clothing to dance. There are things we just don't have the means to do but, we do your best to honor our ancestors, traditions from before colonization.
Native American dancing a short explanation
Dancing has always been important in the lives of Native Americans. Many dances have significant spiritual meaning. Some dances are held to guarantee the success of hunts, harvests, giving thanks, and other celebrations; while other dances are to tell stories.
In warmer weather dancing is done in an open field, sometimes around a fire. Usually it was done at night when the temperatures were cooler. In the winter dancing was mostly done in a large structure.
Movements of the people dancing provide the on lookers/visiting guest with an idea of the purpose of the dance; whether the dance is expressing prayer, victory, thanks, story telling, celebration, courting, sadness, a step into the next stage of life, and more. Sometimes a specific individual would lead the dance. Participants might include the entire tribe/clan, or would be specific to men, women, children or families.
Dancing continues to be an important part of the Native American culture. Some dances are regional or tribal specific and the singers usually perform in their native languages. Depending upon the dance, sometimes visiting guest are welcomed to join in and sometimes they may just watch, while at other times the ceremonies are private.
Most dances seen at powwows today are social dances which might have had different meanings in earlier days. Although dance styles and content have changed, their meaning and importance have not. The ceremonial outfits worn by the dancers, just like the styles of clothing today, have evolved over time.
For many Native Americans, powwow's are much more than just entertainment and socialization; It has a deeper spiritual meaning. It's a way to honor a spiritual connection to their ancestors and all our relations.
Pets are welcome. They must be on a leash and under handler control at all times. Handler must clean up after them, even if they go in the tree line. No animals are to be left in vehicles alone for any length of time. Please have current rabies vaccination certificate with you.
If they are not good with strangers or other animals please leave them at home.
Pow Wow Gathering Etiquette and Tips
Please show respect and leave the chairs and blankets around the dance circle alone. Please bring your own chair or blanket. Please bring your own sun/rain cover. Do not enter a canopy that is setup around the dance circle without permission. There is a canopy setup for elderly senior citizens and physically disabled.
Please ask permission before taking an individual's photograph outside the dance circle. It's just polite and dancers may have religious reasons for avoiding photos. Never enter the dance circle for a photo. If the picture is for publication or commercial use, it needs to be explained before the picture is taken.
Pictures and videos should NOT be taken during Prayers, Grand Entry, Flag Song, Veterans Song, any Honor songs, smudging or any other time announced. If caught taking pictures during these times you will be asked to deleted them on the spot. if caught again you could be asked to leave the pow wow.
You'll know it's okay for anyone to join the dancing when the MC calls for an inter-tribal dance.
Ask people around you and the vendors to explain things you don't understand most will be eager to share their knowledge with you.
It's okay to admire a dancer's clothing but, please do not call it a costume. It's not something we put on because we're going out to trick or treat or to dress up and play Indian. It's better to refer to the dance clothing as an outfit or regalia.
Do not touch the dancer’s regalia (traditional clothing).
Regalia has special meanings. It can signify special events, special religious traditions, it may have symbols rooted in family traditions or legend. It holds a special honor in a person's life. Many of the handmade outfits cost thousands of dollars, and are cherished and sometimes they are made by a highly respected family member or friend. Frequently they are heirlooms and may be delicate. Dancers take great care to ensure their outfits are intact and safe during a powwow. If not, the dancer stands a chance of dropping a part of their regalia.
If a dancer drops any piece or part of their regalia, do not pick it up, please notify them or a member Pow Wow staff.
The dance circle represents the circle of unity and the cycle of life. It is Spiritual place, similar to a church.
Dancers often follow the clockwise pattern of the sun. Few will follow the counter clockwise pattern of the Eagle.
At no time should animals be allowed in the dance circle.
It is okay to dance barefoot and it is okay for adults to dance while carrying infants or small children.
Do not go under the ropes to enter the dance circle, including children. Please use the east gate to enter the dance circle.
Please watch your children. Children should be supervised by a responsible adult at all times. It is in everyone’s best interests that you know where they are and what they are doing.