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Old 08-17-2006, 12:30 PM   #1
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What is this fire in the center of the arena thing?

Powwows in the East are very different for what I am used to out West. The last couple of powwows I've been to in Pennsylvania had a fire in the center of the arena that they kept burning all weekend. There was even a member of the powwow staff called the "fire keeper." I asked around about it because I had never seen this before. I was told that it is a "Woodland thing." Has anyone out there ever seen this and do you know where it comes from?
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Old 08-17-2006, 01:15 PM   #2
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Never seen it or heard of it. I know a lot of powwows in the east are "quirky" to say the least...... so I don't know if that is one of those type things or not. It'll be interesting to hear what others have to say.
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Old 08-17-2006, 01:16 PM   #3
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I've seen this at a few eastern pow wows too and think its absolutely ridiculous. Like you, I asked and was told the EXACT same thing..."its a woodland tradition"...when I asked which specific tribe...no answer LOL

These pow wows who run things "woodland" style should really put it on the flyer so those of us who prefer real over imagined can avoid them. Thanks...
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Old 08-17-2006, 02:51 PM   #4
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Sounds a little Hollywood to me!
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Old 08-17-2006, 03:49 PM   #5
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2 storys about the center fire. pretty funny.

I was in PA once and a kid dropped a red tail hawk feather and the MC gave the kid the choice to give the feather away or burn it in the sacred fire! He burnt it!

A friends was at a powwow where a family put their cremated dead relatives ashes in the fire and than proceeded to paint their faces with the ashes. Needless to say my friend up and ran.
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Old 08-18-2006, 12:07 PM   #6
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Very Quirkey!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mato Winyan
Never seen it or heard of it. I know a lot of powwows in the east are "quirky" to say the least...... so I don't know if that is one of those type things or not. It'll be interesting to hear what others have to say.
The fire is not the only quirk at these Eastern powwows. People also have a very relaxed sense of what it means to be in regaila. I am also used to there being a Host Northern Drum and a Host Southern Drum. In PA they have "Co-Host drums" or one Host Drum, usually Southern. Many people at these powwows do not even know the difference between Northern and Southern. It is weird.
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Old 08-18-2006, 12:09 PM   #7
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Wow! That is really weird!

Quote:
Originally Posted by billyjoejimbob
2 storys about the center fire. pretty funny.

I was in PA once and a kid dropped a red tail hawk feather and the MC gave the kid the choice to give the feather away or burn it in the sacred fire! He burnt it!

A friends was at a powwow where a family put their cremated dead relatives ashes in the fire and than proceeded to paint their faces with the ashes. Needless to say my friend up and ran.
What I have seen at a couple of PA "powwows" is that the veterans make a tobacco offering in the fire during the veterans song.
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Old 08-18-2006, 12:13 PM   #8
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Ya, what tribe!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Singerdad
I've seen this at a few eastern pow wows too and think its absolutely ridiculous. Like you, I asked and was told the EXACT same thing..."its a woodland tradition"...when I asked which specific tribe...no answer LOL

These pow wows who run things "woodland" style should really put it on the flyer so those of us who prefer real over imagined can avoid them. Thanks...
I was told the same thing when I asked about the tribe too! "Woodland" is preety broad and can apply to many tribes or even certain band or bands or a tribe. I think you are right. They are just making things up as they go along.
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Old 08-20-2006, 09:09 PM   #9
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What is this fire in the center of the arena thing?

O you people that dont get out side of your own tribal area or study the old ways of other NDN nations. To start with the Cherokee have fire keepers. They were used at stomp dances. The dancing does not start until after dark because most of the day time is used to visit with family and friends while having a Green Corn celabration. The keeper of the fire did keep the fire burning all night long. By the way the fire had to be sit out in the right way. I also know that in the southwest at the sun dance you have a keeper of the fire and it is the keepers job to keep the fire burning at all times until the end of the sun dance. You may want to talk to your elders before you make fun of what you do not understand. Some of you just crack me up with your lack of knowledge for the old ways of the many American Indian ways. It has taken me 60 summers to learn what I know and I continue to meet with my elders to learn more of the old ways. Pow-Wows of today are not of the old ways. You should learn these things. I do not say the things I do to harm any one, but some will take offense. There is nothing I can do about it other than suggest you seek out your elders and ask them about what I have written. ~ 2 Trails ~
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Old 08-21-2006, 12:52 AM   #10
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Green Corn is a ceremony , Sundance is a ceremony
We're talking about an Intertribal Pow-wow.....I've danced all over and I've seen some strange things , but I've not seen the fire in the center of a dance arena during the dance. At some dances they will have intertribal dancing , and when that's over they build a fire and have a stomp.
Some seem to NOT differenciate between Ceremony and Intertribal pow-wows. There is a difference !
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Old 08-21-2006, 09:59 AM   #11
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i have been to a few pow wows here and there that had a fire inthe center of the dance area and some didn't. most of these pow wows were intertribal. i just went to the Mohegan Wigwam pow wow over the weekend, they had a fire in the center of the dance arena.
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Old 08-21-2006, 10:49 AM   #12
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I went to a powwow in Germany where the center fire was the only source of light that they had for their powwow.

They were REALLY wanting to do things the "Indian Way."


....whatever that means.
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Old 08-21-2006, 01:12 PM   #13
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No Offence Intended

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 Trails
O you people that dont get out side of your own tribal area or study the old ways of other NDN nations. To start with the Cherokee have fire keepers. They were used at stomp dances. The dancing does not start until after dark because most of the day time is used to visit with family and friends while having a Green Corn celabration. The keeper of the fire did keep the fire burning all night long. By the way the fire had to be sit out in the right way. I also know that in the southwest at the sun dance you have a keeper of the fire and it is the keepers job to keep the fire burning at all times until the end of the sun dance. You may want to talk to your elders before you make fun of what you do not understand. Some of you just crack me up with your lack of knowledge for the old ways of the many American Indian ways. It has taken me 60 summers to learn what I know and I continue to meet with my elders to learn more of the old ways. Pow-Wows of today are not of the old ways. You should learn these things. I do not say the things I do to harm any one, but some will take offense. There is nothing I can do about it other than suggest you seek out your elders and ask them about what I have written. ~ 2 Trails ~
We were with a Cherokee at the powwows I am refering to here and he had mentioned some of what you say here. Also, my husband is Prairie Band Potawatomi and they are also known as the "keepers of the flame" or the "fire keepers." The traditions you write about here seem to be more ceremonial in nature. The powwow is a tradition comes from the wild west shows and is not really cermonial in nature (although everything we do is ceremonial).
I am sorry if I offended you. I meant no disrespect.
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Old 08-21-2006, 02:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoMe
I went to a powwow in Germany where the center fire was the only source of light that they had for their powwow.

They were REALLY wanting to do things the "Indian Way."

Oh and I forgot to add....


They burned a guy dressed up like Custer at the stake, when the powwow was over.





j/k
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Old 08-21-2006, 04:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoMe
Oh and I forgot to add....


They burned a guy dressed up like Custer at the stake, when the powwow was over.





j/k
Don't they all look like Custer?

j/k too
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Old 08-21-2006, 05:06 PM   #16
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yEAH STOMP DANCES HAVE FIRES, BUT THESE ARE REGULAR POWWOWS. oops caps lock.

ask these people about stomp dancing and they will think your talking about a crop hop!

You can also tell these weird powwows when the MC mentions the feds everytime a plane flies over.

One time the MC called all the veterans in for the veteran song and said, "Come on in and dance, there are no landmines in here!" He later publicly apologized to a disabled vet in the audience.

the new thing i am seeing on the east is the 'spectator dance contest'. maybe it started out west i dont know.
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Old 08-21-2006, 05:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyjoejimbob
yEAH STOMP DANCES HAVE FIRES, BUT THESE ARE REGULAR POWWOWS. oops caps lock.

ask these people about stomp dancing and they will think your talking about a crop hop!

You can also tell these weird powwows when the MC mentions the feds everytime a plane flies over.


the new thing i am seeing on the east is the 'spectator dance contest'. maybe it started out west i dont know.

Crow Hop? Surely they don't think that?

so what does a plane have to do with feds? (I've never heard any comments like that out of an MC - am feeling uneducated here - or just missing the j/k?)

what the heck is a 'spectator dance contest', I mean what do they have them do? I've seen spot dances, but that's usually with just dancers, fun stuff, but not with spectators.
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Old 08-21-2006, 10:39 PM   #18
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Center of the arena thing.

Yes, you are correct about pow-wows being of the wild west shows. I am also aware of the difference between an intertribal and a ceremony dance. I am also aware that the gatherings in the old way were mostly ceremonial and some of the old ways are being brought into the present so that the old ways will not be forgotten. We are to teach the old ways to the young ones so that our people and our ways will continue to live. I take no offence of the posts that are made. I only ask that we continue to learn the old ways and not scoff at what we do not understand. To many times I have seen post that people have scoffed at because of their lack of understanding of the ways of other Nations . This is not a good thing. ~ 2 Trails ~


Whome are you still MC for the Nashville Pow-wow?

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Old 08-22-2006, 12:22 PM   #19
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kakeeya
Don't they all look like Custer?

j/k too
...too funny Kakeeya! A man who started our powwow here used to do this; "sacred fire" in the middle thing. As it turns out; the first 3 powwows he had, the weather was so bad, the powwow event had to be moved INSIDE a large building. Coincidence, I think NOT. Needless to say; he says he's MICMAC and ABENAKI. I don't see it, but glad he left the powwow 3 years ago.
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Old 08-22-2006, 07:04 PM   #20
Me & Eyes are the best !
 
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In my experience these things seem to take care of themselves. Any time some of these odd happenings occur , in seems something always happens to remedy it.
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Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





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