Thread: powwow ways
View Single Post
Old 07-07-2003, 07:16 PM   #6
User InfoThanks / Tagging InfoGifts / Achievements / AwardsvBActivity Stats
Posts: n/a
Re: the PowWow (meant a gathering of spiritual leaders)

Originally posted by Cree_warrior10

I feel a great cultural event is the pow wow. The word pow wow was first an

Algonquin word. It was first pronounced Pau-wau in Algonquin lanuage. Pau-Wau first

meant a gathering of spiritual leaders. I was told that the Europeans misunderstood the

word and went around calling all the gatherings of the Native American Indian people

and their ceremonies Pow Wows. Today a Pow Wow is a cultural event, which is held in

many different places. The two biggest places they are held are at Universities and at fair


A pow wow today is where many people gather together. The Native American

Indians may dance, sing, drum, sell or maybe just come to enjoy the event. A pow wow

is suppose to be a fun and enjoyable event for anyone to go to. During an intertribal song

anyone can dance even if someone is not Native American Indian or in regalia. Someone

should never call what a Native American Indian wears a costume. The reason I say that

is because many days and even years went into making their regalia. On an estimate I

would say that when someone is done making their regalia it is worth around 500 through

1,000 dallars. This is why someone should not call regalia a costume. Someone in the

public should also not try to touch someoneís regalia without asking the person before

hand. If someone wants wanted to take a picture they should always remember to ask

before the picture is taken. In my hunka family they believe when someone takes their

picture they are also taking part of their spirit away. A hunka family is an adopted


The drum is the heart of the Pow Wow. Without the drum there would be no Pow

Wow. Usually there is many drums at a pow wow about 4 or more. There has to be four

men that sit on each drum, so each direction is covered. The four directions are West,

East, South and North. Every drum usually takes turns playing. I have been to a couple

of Pow Wows where all the drums actually played together, but usually the public will

see them play all separate. Men are suppose to be the only drummers, because when the

drum is being played it is honoring the woman. However, some woman are going against

this custume and playing the drum anyways. Women usually sing behind their husband,

brother or maybe even some other relative. In the old days woman were suppose to stand

behind the men and be a look out for anything that might come up behind them that

might harm any of them. Most woman are suppose to wear a shawl around their

shoulders when they sing. A shawl is about 6 yards of material and has fringes at the

ends. The fringes are put on by hand; this usually takes about two days non-stop to

finish. The men dress in whatever they feel comfortable in. When some one is around

the drum they should not curse. They should also be clean of alcohol and drugs. The

drum as soon as it is made has a spirit in the heart of it. We call this spirit the grandfather


At pow wows some people dance to celebrate thanks to the Creator. Another

reason some people dance is to honor those that have fought for are freedom in the

United States of America. The overall reason is for fun or at a competition pow wow for

money to see who is the best at a certain dance. There are three basic dances that men
usually dance. The first dance is called menís traditional dance. This is the oldest type

of dance for men. Their regalia are usually made of cotton cloth or hide. The traditional

men usually wear a roach and also a bustle. The rest of the regalia are usually unique to

the person. The second type of dance is the grass dance. These dancers use to be the first

dancers at pow wows to dance to stomp on the grass to make the grass flat for the rest of

the dancers. Their regaliaís are usually very colorful and bright, which is made up of alot

of fringe. The third type of dance is the menís fancy dance. This is the newest type of

dance that the men have done. Their regalia is usually made of bright colors and two

bustles. One of these bustles is worn around the neck and the other is worn in the back.

There are also three different types of dances for the woman. The first is womanís

traditional dance. Their regalia are made either of cotton cloth or hide. When these

woman dance their feet never leave the ground completely, which shows their closeness

to mother earth. The second type of dancing is the Womanís Jingle Dress. An Ojibwa

woman had a dream many years ago to make the dress to help heal people. The dress is

made of cloth and 365 cones. A woman must have a dance and go through a ceremony to

wear this dress. Each day a cone is put on the dress and a prayer was said with each cone

that is on the dress. When a jingle dress dancer dances it is said that the prayers are

released and sent to the Great Spirit to be heard. The third type of dancing for woman is

the Womanís Fancy Shawl. These women usually wear a shawl, high cut moccasins, and

a bright colored rosette on their back. I was told that these woman and their shawls

represent the transition from a cocoon to a butterfly.

I feel that the nature of this cultural event shows the togetherness of are people. If

each person did not come together to make this possible there would be nothing. It is

great events in are community, that anyone can go to. It is for the whole family. No

matter your race, age or social status you are welcome to come enjoy with the Native

American Indians. If some one is going to go to a pow wow they should not worry about

anything. At different times they have round dances and 49ers, which are for couples.

These dance are done by making a circle and doing faries things that the lead dancers of

the pow wow do. We all follow what the person in front of us has done. I hope more

people would come enjoy a pow wow with all of us. We are all happy to see new


Algonquin ~~>thats the language the Menominess speak
  Reply With Quote Share with Facebook