November 1st, 2018 Last Updated on: December 9th, 2019
Explore Native will show you ways to Explore Native American Culture during Native American Heritage Month.
Whether you are a Pow Wow dancer, a Native American scholar, or just someone interested in Native Culture, Explore Native will provide you new ways to learn about this vibrant culture through Pow Wows, music, history, and business.
Explore Pow Wows
PowWows.com started as a place for Pow Wow dancers and singers to find Pow Wows, chat with friends, and learn about different dance styles.
So for our first part of Explore Native, we want to challenge you to explore the world of Pow Wows!
What is a Pow Wow?
Pow Wows are the Native American people’s way of meeting together, to join in dancing, singing, visiting, renewing old friendships, and making new ones. This is a time method to renew Native American culture and preserve the rich heritage of American Indians.
There are several different stories of how the powwow was started. Some believe that the War dance Societies of the Ponca and other Southern Plains Tribes were the origin of the powwow.
Another belief is that when the Native American tribes were forced onto reservations the government also forced them to have danced for the public to come and see. Before each dance, they were lead through the town in a parade, which is the beginning of the Grand Entry.
Find a Pow Wow Near You!
The Pow Wow Calendar on PowWows.com lists thousands of Native American events across the United States and Canada. Each year we list of 1,200 Pow Wows – and that isn't all of them!
You can find them in your state or province!
Find one near you by using the Pow Wow Calendar.
Take a look at the map below. Each dot is a Pow Wow listed on our calendar with 100-mile radius circle around it. You can see that there is a Pow Wow within 100 miles of most of the United States and Canada.
Pow Wow Facts
The oldest Pow Wow, according to the Narragansett tribe, is their annual event. They trace the event back to 1675 – 343 years!
As for traditional Plains Indian Pow Wows, several events are over 125 years old.
The largest Pow Wow is the Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, New Mexico with over 72,000 people attending each year and more than 3,000 dancers competing.
Pow Wow Eqiuette
When you visit a Pow Wow, be sure to follow these guidelines.
1. Be on time. The committee is doing everything possible to ensure that activities begin and run smoothly. Please cooperate in this regard.
2. Appropriate dress and behavior are required in the arena. Anyone unwilling to abide by this rule will be asked to leave by the Arena Director. (If you are going to dance, try to wear dance clothes.)
3. Arena benches are reserved for dancers. Dancers wishing to reserve a space on the bench should place a blanket in that space before the dance begins. Please do not sit on someone else's blanket unless invited. Uncovered benches are considered unreserved.
4. Listen to the Master of Ceremonies. He will announce who is to dance, and when.
Pow Wow Frequently Asked Questions
Are Pow Wows Open To The Public?
Yes, Pow Wows are open to the public! People from every background are welcomed to attend the celebration of a Pow Wow. You don’t have to be Native American to attend.
Can I dance?
Pow Wows sometimes feature an “Inter-tribal” dance that follows the Grand Entry. This is a special dance that invites all to join in and dance together inside the arena circle. You may choose to join in despite not wearing any regalia. However, if you do decide to join the dance, always walk with the beat and be considerate of those around you. If you’re not sure of how to dance, simply watch how other women and men of your age are dancing for guidance. Enter the arena with respect. Conduct yourself in a reserved manner.
Pow Wow Dance Styles
Learn more about the different Pow Wow dance Styles!
Watch Pow Wows Live
Watch Pow Wows live!
PowWows.com streams Pow Wows live several times a year. If you can't make it to a Pow Wow, this is the next best thing!
Explore Pow Wows
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