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Old 06-14-2010, 06:33 AM   #1
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Eastern Dancers

I have been to several "Pow wows" in PA and West Virginia. These dances have been typically small and have a few pratices that don't seem to fit into regular pow wow traditions. One such practice is exiting the arbor after each song. As they exit, the turn and face the center and hold their right arm with a clenched fist alot and back out of the arbor. Can anyone tell me why they do that?

Also some of the drums have a unique sound. They don't flow like Norther or Southern sons. They have honor beats all over the place, speed up and slow down all the time, and can be very difficult to dance to. I am told the songs are Cherokee, Shawnee, and Micmac in origin. Does that sound right to anyone?

I'd like to understand more. Can anyone help?
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:27 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjcrow View Post
I have been to several "Pow wows" in PA and West Virginia. These dances have been typically small and have a few pratices that don't seem to fit into regular pow wow traditions. One such practice is exiting the arbor after each song. As they exit, the turn and face the center and hold their right arm with a clenched fist alot and back out of the arbor. Can anyone tell me why they do that?

Also some of the drums have a unique sound. They don't flow like Norther or Southern sons. They have honor beats all over the place, speed up and slow down all the time, and can be very difficult to dance to. I am told the songs are Cherokee, Shawnee, and Micmac in origin. Does that sound right to anyone?

I'd like to understand more. Can anyone help?

pj,

There is a popular commercial with the heading "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."

.....this also can be applied to WV and PA powwows. *L
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjcrow View Post
I have been to several "Pow wows" in PA and West Virginia. These dances have been typically small and have a few pratices that don't seem to fit into regular pow wow traditions. One such practice is exiting the arbor after each song. As they exit, the turn and face the center and hold their right arm with a clenched fist alot and back out of the arbor. Can anyone tell me why they do that?

Also some of the drums have a unique sound. They don't flow like Norther or Southern sons. They have honor beats all over the place, speed up and slow down all the time, and can be very difficult to dance to. I am told the songs are Cherokee, Shawnee, and Micmac in origin. Does that sound right to anyone?

I'd like to understand more. Can anyone help?

wooohooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!

wait, what? You're telling me that powwows in PA aren't like, to quote you, "regular powwows"?
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Old 06-14-2010, 05:57 PM   #4
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Everyone has their own customs. And do as they are taught or have learned
If i am raising my right hand it is because if my fan was in it it would be raised the same way, Personally this is done to honor.
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:18 PM   #5
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I have seen all of those before, can't explain it and I end up just shaking my head and holding my tongue.
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Old 06-15-2010, 01:09 PM   #6
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I have wondered the same thing, but I usually just go "meh whatever, it is what it is".

See the problem with the North East, not just WV and PA, is thats its a big cluster-F, by this I mean you have a lot of hobbyists, mountain men and the like while there are only a handful of sections here and there with real ndns, such as upstate NY. Here in PA there are even less, besides myself there are only a handful of people that I know of. With that in mind of course you are going to find various oddities that don't exist elsewhere. I've been to several powwows here that suck and some that are ok and some that are actually pretty good and attract people from all over the country.

If you are wondering why I live in PA, its because thats where the post-production facility is for the TV show that I work on. If it wasn't for that fact I would have ditced this state years ago, even though it is really nice, I'm just getting sick of it, lol.
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Old 06-15-2010, 03:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjcrow View Post
I have been to several "Pow wows" in PA and West Virginia. These dances have been typically small and have a few pratices that don't seem to fit into regular pow wow traditions. One such practice is exiting the arbor after each song. As they exit, the turn and face the center and hold their right arm with a clenched fist alot and back out of the arbor. Can anyone tell me why they do that?

Also some of the drums have a unique sound. They don't flow like Norther or Southern sons. They have honor beats all over the place, speed up and slow down all the time, and can be very difficult to dance to. I am told the songs are Cherokee, Shawnee, and Micmac in origin. Does that sound right to anyone?

I'd like to understand more. Can anyone help?
Consider yourself unlucky to have witnessed and heard something so twisted and perverted.
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Old 06-16-2010, 07:00 PM   #8
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Old 06-22-2010, 04:23 PM   #9
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I just had a conversation with an elder who I really respect. He is a member of an east coast tribe. I was wanting to learn more about the east coast people and about some of their powwows through this converation.

I told him I have a friend who was not allowed to dance at a recent powwow because he was told that he was not "registered." When he asked to register, he was told registration was closed. My friend has strong African American features.

The elder explained that a while back at some powwows, it was common for the host committee or sponsoring tribe to not allow anyone to dance who looked more black than Indian. I told this elder what powwow my friend was turned away from and he said that this and a few others in the area used that tactic or asked for CDIB cards as a way to deter some dancers from participating in tribal powwows on the east coast.

Hmmmm?

Is there any truth to this?

Has anyone ever experienced this?
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:24 PM   #10
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From what I've seen its not always the case, as some of the more hobbyist powwows here in the east are typically open to everyone. Contest and tribe sponsored powwows on the other hand are different in that most will card you. I was talking to a friend of mine who was a head judge at a powwow not too long ago and was told by the committe to turn anyone away who did not have a card. This angered some as a few have travelled long distances, from down south to as far away as Canada.

Things could be a bit different now, I havnt been able to do much travelling recently because of work and money etc.
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:50 PM   #11
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Last time I was at EBCI powwow you had to show your card.

Been to one other in that area where only "invited" dancers could participate- thing was more like a show than a powwow
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Old 06-25-2010, 03:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Been to one other in that area where only "invited" dancers could participate- thing was more like a show than a powwow
legal,

There are several like that on the MidAtlantic powwow circuit. They are powwow shows. They do the grand entry, go through the exhibition dances then take a break in the middle of the powwow. Then start over with a new grand entry after the "break."
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Old 07-03-2010, 03:29 AM   #13
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Well all I can say being from the SE myself and just learning is I rather just watch MOST of the powwows over here, and to participate go across the river back to more "traditional" ones. Granted there are a few on this side of the country that stay good, and I myself have ALOT to learn. I have been told all the wrong stuff to do, and until elders of other Nations come to me in other states I don't even know I'm doing things wrong! I also have learned so much from powwows.com!
Oh something else some do over here= bow to the drum before entering and leaving the circle. I was like OK???
As far as the carded thing, I haven't yet went to a powwow where they have to see cards. I am sure there are some but I haven't been to any.
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