July 25th, 2022 Last Updated on: July 27th, 2022
Join Paul G to discuss common questions about Pow Wows.
Can I attend a Pow Wow?
How do I find a Pow Wow?
What do I wear?
Can I take photos and more!
- What is a Pow Wow?
- Pow Wow Etiquette
- Pow Wow 101 – Frequently Asked Questions
- Pow Wow Singing
- Dance Styles
- Watch Pow Wows Live Online
- Watch Pow Wow Videos
- Browse Pow Wow Photos
- Pow Wow Photography Guide
Paul Gowder: Hello, and welcome to the Pow Wow Life podcast. I'm Paul Gowder, the founder of powwows.com. Thank you for being here for an episode. Today, I want to talk to you about some common questions I've been getting lately about going to Pow Wows whether it's your first time or your 100th time, I'm getting some questions about people wanting to visit power hours, and I want to answer those today. But first, I do have a couple of announcements. First thing I have to say is sorry, if my voice sounds a little weird today in a crack or a cough, I'm sorry. I actually recently got COVID. So I'm still recovering. I'm feeling okay, so I'm okay, it's really mild symptoms, but I did it get tested and got a positive result this weekend. So I'm recovering from that. So I'm still a little stuffy and got some, you know, all that congestion going on. So sorry about that. But second, some announcements. We have a contest going on and powwows.com. Right now, in honor of my daughter's high school graduation, you can head over to powwows.com/win and enter daily for more chances to win. Travel has been an important part of our family. And we made it a priority. And that was something we wanted to do to be able to make memories for the three of us. And so we want to do that in our books graduation. So the contests were given away some travel gift cards, and hopefully it's going to give you and your family some chances to travel together. We're giving away Carnival Cruise Line gift cards, Southwest Airlines gift card, Uber, Lyft, hotels.com, and even a Disney gift card. So this will be a great Kickstart to any of the traveling you want to do as a family. So make sure you go over to powwows.com/whentoenter. And don't forget, enter daily to increase your chances at that prize. The contest ends at the end of June. So check that out and make sure you enter I want to say a special shout out to our Patreon. So those are the folks that are making contributions to powwows.com each month and you can join them over at powwowsnation.com We're doing some cool things with our Patreon we were having monthly zoom calls, we got the special discounts for our T shirts and stickers 20% off all of that. As well as we're going to start in July doing some watch parties you know there's some cool shows coming out soon. The new season of reservation dollars has come in new season or Rutherford falls there's a new show on A&E. So we'll do some watch parties where we get together as a Patreon community and watch those and chat and kind of talk about what's going on. So if you would love to be a part of that and help support powwows.com. We'd love to have you join that community check us out over at powwowsnation.com.
Okay, so let's get into the topic. Some of the common questions that people are asking when they're heading to their Pow Wows again, whether it's your first Pow Wow or your 12, or your 100th. Here are some common questions I still get asked. And these came in recently, so I want to make sure I address them and make sure that your next Pow Wow is the best trip it can be.
Question: Alright, first question, who can attend a Pow Wow?
Paul Gowder: You know, and this gets asked a lot, and I want to make sure people understand this. So if an event is listed on powwows.com, they are open to the public Pow Wows really did, a lot of them depend on the public for tickets and the revenue for the vendors and things like that. So yes, Pow Wows are open to the public. Now, that being open to the public means you can come you can be a spectator, you can buy things you can, you know, watch the dance and singing doesn't necessarily mean it's open for you to participate in all the dancing, but it is open for you to come and be a part of it as far as being a spectator and sitting in the stands and really enjoying the Pow Wows. So again, if it's listed on powwows.com, or listed on any public calendar, it's going to be open to the public, things that are not open to the public, your special ceremonies and religious events, the you're not going to see those posted on public websites, those are gonna be things that are shared personally, and among family and tribe, things like that. So again, if it's posted out there, is generally open to the public, I haven't seen anything posted on powwows.com that wasn't open to the general public. Some houses do charge ticket prices, some are free and open. But you'll you know, check our calendar powwows.com/calendar check it first and find out if the Pow Wows near you has an admission fee or, or anything like that. Some of the bigger powers like Denver, March Palo Alto gathering of nations, they do require tickets to be purchased ahead of time, sometimes you can get them at the door, but you're gonna be waiting in line and risk not getting in. So if you're gonna head into a big powwow, you know, check their website ahead of time to find out all the information about that.
Question: Which leads to the second question, probably the most frequent question I get asked is, how do I find a Pow Wows near me?
Paul Gowder: Now we have a Pow Wows calendar. And we try really hard and we're actually working on a redesign to hopefully make it easier for you to find Pow Wows in near where you live. So the first thing you can do is head to powwows.com/calendar. And that will take you right to the front page of our calendar, and lets you search and find Pow Wows. You can also Google Pow Wows in your state or your province, we do list powers in every state, and almost every Canadian province. So if you just Google Pow Wows in Texas, or Pow Wows in Ontario, Google will take you to our page just for that location. And we have a page for every state in every province that lists the powers that you know, there's something over the years that people have asked for. So we've built a page for every single one of them. And it you can Google it, that's probably the easiest way to get to it, you can do if you want to try you can go powwows.com/ the name of your state or province. So powwows.com/texas or powwows.com/south-carolina, if it's two words, just put a dash in between the two words. But yes, as easily, you're probably if you just Google Pow Wows in Oklahoma. So that's how you find Pow Wows near you. Now, keep in mind that powers didn't happen for the last two years, mostly. So people are still putting out their information for 2022 and 2023. So our calendar right now is a little sparse as far as every state, but we are getting listings sent to us every week, and we are updating as fast as we can. So just check back often and look for new events to be added. You can also sign up for our newsletter and we send out the new Pow Wows and the upcoming Pow Wows twice a month on the 1st and the 15th-ish. So you can do that you can subscribe to that newsletter over at powwows.com/powwowsnearme, and that'll get you on our email list. And I will send those out twice a month.
Question: Next question, and I've gotten this one several, you know, I hadn't gotten this one much over the years. But in the last few weeks, I've gotten this a few times. People asked, what do I wear to a Pow Wows?
Paul Gowder: And that's a valid question. If you've never been that is something that could be a little you know, maybe a little anxiety causing not sure what you should wear. So if you're coming in, you're just going to be a spectator really you can wear any kind of street clothes that you would wear on a normal everyday basis is fine. You know, if you're going to a Pow Wows in Oklahoma or Florida you you're going to want to dress comfortably, you know probably going to want to be in shorts and a T-shirt, and that's perfectly fine. It's okay. You'll see that like the arena staff the arena actors and the judges and MCs they're probably going to be in long pants and sometimes long sleeve T-shirts. And that's just some people will do that is just, you know, respecting the arena. And, you know, wearing those kinds of things. But as long as you're, if you're outside the arena and you're just a spectator, shorts, t shirt, jeans, t shirt, any of that you're going to be fun. You'll be completely comfortable and totally appropriate. Now, if you're wanting to, to dance, I get this question a lot too.
Question: Can I dance at a Pow Wows?
Paul Gowder: So that's a little more complicated of a question. First, there are Pow Wows and there are times that Pow Wows will call for intertribal dancing and they will ask the audience and the spectators to come out and participate with them. They'll even do some special dances where they were where they will ask you know the audience to come out maybe to participate in a round dance or something like that. So listen for those times. And if you want to go out and dance that is perfectly okay. Now a lot of people email me and ask you how can they become a Pow Wows dancer, and that's where it gets a little more complicated. Depending on the Pow Wows depending on the dance, you know that they're going to have certain requirements, especially if it's a competition Pow Wows, you're gonna have to register. Different Pow Wows have different requirements, some are going to ask you to show your tribal ID, some are not. So that's a little more complicated and depends on your area and what the different requirements are. But generally, if you are interested in learning more about Pow Wows dancing, I'll tell you, the best way to do that is just to continue to visit your local Pow Wows, start volunteering at the Pow Wows, work with people get to know some of your local dancers and start asking questions of them. But do it in a you know, in a respectful way, and cover them you know, after you volunteer and after you've done some things and I think people open up to you and you know that people see you that you're interested in you've been around a while, the Pow Wows they're going to be willing to share with you. Of course, if you are active in your tribe or your family's active Pow Wows, you maybe have some an aunt or uncle that is knowledgeable and can pass those things down to you and help you out that way. But if you're not the best way do is visit some of your local Pow Wows and really get to know those folks. And that's going to be your best resource to go in that direction.
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Question: All right. The next question I get asked all the time, is can I take photos or video at a Pow Wows?
Paul Gowder: The first answer is yes. You know, if you see people dancing in the arena, that is something you can take pictures of you can take video of, you'll see lots of it's shared all over social media. Now, having said that, you need to be respectful, of course, and listen to the MC’s and they may tell you times where they don't want you to do that there may be times for example, if somebody drops a feather, and they'll have the veterans come out and maybe sing a special song or do sometimes they'll dance it out. But however they handle that that's something they don't want to see recorded, because that's going to be a special moment there. Sometimes you'll see something that's called whistling the drum. And that's when somebody's honoring the drum and goes up and blows their whistle at the Trump. That's another thing that's a special private moment that they don't want recorded or photographed. So just listen to the MC’s. But generally, yes, you can take pictures. Now, those pictures are for you and your personal use. They are not you know, these aren't something you should take and use commercially. I see a lot of people try to do that. You remember you are taking pictures of people. So you cannot use their images or their likenesses in a commercial venture unless you get releases from them. Now if they're outside the dance arena, and they're standing around, look, there are people there. Yes, they're dancers that are performers, but they are people so don't just snap a picture of them. If you see them standing around, ask them first before you take their picture and most of the times they're going to be okay with it. Of course, they may be in a hurry or trying to do something else and may not have a moment to do that. But generally they're going to be okay with it but asked first though.
Alright, so I hope that helps give you a few common question or a few common answers to these questions. But remember, you know, overall, when you approach a Pow Wows, I'll go there with an open mind, knowing that it's something, especially if it's your first time knowing that it's something that you, you know, it's outside of maybe your cultural background. So be a little open, it's going to be new to you, it's going to be different. So, go there, just be respectful treat people, like their people, and not just, you know, maybe the, you know, performers or, or something like that. And I think you'll have a good time. If you have any other questions, I'd love to help you out and to answer them, and make sure that your Pow Wows was the best it can be. So please email me email@example.com. I also have a free email series. If you subscribe to it, we'll send you one email over the course of seven or eight days. And it'll give you even more detail on some of the things we talked about here, including the dance styles, the singing, all of the etiquette that you need at a PowerShell. You can find that over at powwows.com/powwow101. So hope you enjoy this episode. Thanks again for being a part of the powwows.com community. You guys out there at Powell nation really make what we do. So much fun. And without you. We wouldn't do, we wouldn't be where we are. And you know, it really helps continue to grow and help support Pow Wows that come. So thank you for listening to today's episode. I hope you'll get out to a Pow Wows this summer. And take your family out there and experience native culture in the best way firsthand and live. Oh, and of course if you aren't able to make it to a Pow Wows make sure you head over to powwows.com. Because we're gonna be streaming lots of Pow Wows this summer. This past weekend we streamed the Mana Twomey Pow Wows in Winnipeg, Manitoba. So check out powwows.com for all kinds of live streams coming to you over the next few months. If you're not able to make it to a Pow Wows that is the best way to see it. Again, my name is Paul Gowder and I am the founder of powwows.com. I hope you have a wonderful week and make it out to a Pow Wows soon. Thanks for listening.
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