Pow Wow Visitors Guide

By Paul G on October 3, 2011
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Pow Wow Visitors Guide will educate you, and help you to better understand the meanings behind pow wows, and how to respectfully enjoy them. See how Native American music and the different variations of Native American dress all contribute meaning to a pow wow.


Going to your first Pow Wow?

The sites and sounds of a Native American Pow Wow are an amazing array of beautiful songs, colors, and people.  But for a visitor, all of this can be overwhelming and intimidating.  We have put together a few pages to help you better understand what you’ll see and hear at a Pow Wow!

Pow Wow Information

Don’t forget to bring your camera!

TOPICS: PowWows.com

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29 Responses to “Pow Wow Visitors Guide”

  1. wardancer says:

    I like this too !

  2. clarissa says:

    Learning my history as a native american.

  3. Keith E. Sebree says:

    What is porper etiquette for visitors?
    When an elder begins a song is it custom to give money.
    How do you do this, when do you do this, how much, what is the history behind this.
    What would be an insult?
    Photo taking, I assume it is proper to ask permission first, is payment required?

    • Paul G says:

      Take a look at this page – Pow Wow Etiquette.

      Also, check with the MC or the Arena Directors, they can help you with your questions.

      • Keith E. Sebree says:

        Thank you Paul the site was very helpful.
        Like myself there are many that are courious and want to learn more about the PowWows..
        We now have a place to go to to learn how to attend without offending.
        Thank you.

  4. MoonCricket says:

    I am going to the all Nations Gathering this April in AB NM ia i cant wait to be with our people. willbe the very frist time for me and my older brother and sister. My question is what is the right amoutn to pay for a song? please if you would let me know.Thanks MoonCricket ; )

    • Paul G says:

      What are you are you looking to do? Do you want a special song sung for you?

      At Gathering of Nations you’ll need to clear that with the arena staff before the Pow Wow. It’s a large Pow Wow that always runs over by hours. So they don’t allow many additional things on the agenda.

  5. Jaime says:


    I live in Southern California. How can I find out where these Pow Wows are?

  6. Nakomas says:

    For inter-tribal dancing , is a shawl necessary?!

  7. Alexa says:

    I have attended many Pow Wows over many years and there is a sound that many of the visiting Natives make with their voice. It sort of sounds like a yelp. What does that mean and how is it done

  8. leela farmer says:

    i am searching for my grandmothers family her name was alta meade stiltner mother before her name was diadme. dont know last name she was left with john stiltner as a child somewhere in southern virginia or tenn. i would greatly thank anyone for information she married henry clay meadows and passed away in 1965 she told stories about the cherokee were her family

  9. stephen bogosian says:

    I have the similar beliefs that are sacred and holy to me.The sky is god,grandfather sky and grandmother sky.the sun is our father and the earth is our mother.I look white and am armenian.I don’t have reliable transportation to get to the powwows.I really want to connect with people that understand what i am saying and beleive in.I am in spokane washington.Do you have any suggestions or recommendations so that I can connect? thank you.

  10. keebler says:

    would like to go to a pow wow . I am in baltimore,md. looking to c if there r any coming up in spring/summer?

  11. Joseph Pletzke says:

    Dear Sir;

    Our City of Oak Forest, Illinois hosts an annual War of 1812 Re-enactment. We are interested in contacting Pow Wow Members about attending our event with a small Indian Village or costumed vendors etc. We think it would be a great for our residents for a “Show & Tell” or any related Indian Cultures to that time line. Thank You
    Joseph Pletzke, City of Oak Forest, Illinois Veterans Commission

  12. Lisa May says:

    Dear Sir, I am Cherokee and I make jewelry and crystals and buckskin bags, Ext.. I would like to join the Pow Wow vendors. I travel with my husband and have been to the Trail of Tears a few times with my Mother. I have raised my family and would love to travel with my people could someone help me get the right information.Thank you for your time

  13. michelle santoya says:

    Looking on the web site makes me so proud to be a native american woman. I love the music and clothing and Im so excited to attend a pow wow and so excited to learn more about my native american family.

  14. karen johnson says:

    looking for american indian info in the dallas/ft.worth area.
    powwows,organizations, wellbriety.
    thank you
    karen johnson

  15. Heroina says:


  16. Nakitia says:

    Wanting to learning the ways of my people and to teach them to my children as well. I have come to find out that I am Cherokee and Mohican (as well as others like irish but I really don’t care so much about those). And my husband has a lot of Cherokee as well.

  17. Robert says:

    I’m writing a guitar instrumental song at the moment and would like to use or buy? the actual backing Indian sound effects used on the Tatanka Apache Song or something stereo of that high standard at least. Could I ask your advice who I can contact. also would the sound be able to be used as a sample maybe given the song I think you said was in Public Domain? Would appreciate your advice. Robert

  18. roxie says:

    in Canada alberta the best powwows are a must go to and be there is beaver lake powwow, its usually on Canada day weekend,n Samson powwow which is in august and its in maskwachis, and of course enoch powwow, which is by Edmonton, many native actors and world class dancers are at these powwows and inspire other dancers to do their best and they can be better and the true reason why we participate at the powwows, I look fwd to this summer and hitting the powwow trail and hope to see y’all there :)

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