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  • asking for permission, to participate in a powwow

    Hi! im new to this forum
    A little about myself first,
    i am a swede ,i was born in sweden,
    and ever since i was a child, i have always been interested in native american culture and life,
    in 2004 i moved to Los Angeles, where my wife is born, we got married in 2006, and we are very happy together,i didnt get my green card until late 2006
    not until now have i started to think that i could participate in a powwow,since i finally dont have to go back to sweden like every 3 months,
    so i have been starting to finding all these websites of information, and now a couple a weeks ago , i found powwows.com
    as i come to understand in order for me to participate, not being non native american, i must ask for permission, and wish for the best i guess?
    who do i ask?
    And im not a wannabee, im very proud to be a swede, and where im from, but i feel that my feelings for the culture of native americans is stronger, i feel more drawn to it,

    my reasons for taking part of a powwow is not to compete,
    it is my way to pay the utmost respect and sincere love for the true founders of this land, and to the culture and its people

    In return i would be extremely honored myself
    im doing my reasearch on the regalia
    and i hope to dance the northern traditional
    and im attending powwows this and next year to see how it is
    preparations will take about 2 years if not more,
    but i have to ask for permission ,and would very much appreciate some one who could help me

    Im thanking anyone taking their time to respond in anyway to my thread , just know your taking your valuable time to write, may it be god or bad,
    Thank You
    sincerely Thobias

  • #2
    Hi, Thobias, welcome. I think the way to start would be to attend as many powwows as a spectator as you can, support the native vendors by purchasing, talking to people, getting to know and be known, learning all you can before planning to participate in any other way. If you're new, you have a lot of learning to do first. I've been to several powwows over the years, but I still call myself a newbie. I enjoy being a spectator and don't plan to be more than that. There are many ways to show your respect.

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with trob. Go and watch, support the people by purchasing their items. IM a native but yet I still add to my outfits. It does take time but its very enjoyable.
      I got a fevah! And the only cure is more cowbell!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Hello Thobias what do you mean exactly by participate?
        ClothDancer02

        Comment


        • #5
          Thobias-

          I wanted to take a second and respond; my girlfriend and I will be marrying soon-her folks are Swedish (from near Gavle).

          The Swedish culture is a beautiful thing, man, and something to be proud of. No doubt!

          I wanted to share a lesson that I have learned recently, regarding life in general, not anything to do with being NDN, but anyway the lesson is, "Just becuase I WANT to do/can do/feel like I should do/something, does not mean I SHOULD"!

          If you really really want to powwow, go as a spectator. If you really, really want to help Native culture thrive and to last, let US take care of that. I think overall we're doing just fine.

          I think most folks here who are NDN would agree that some of the worst things that we have been through were a direct result of non-natives intruding where they had no business. Many times they acted without bad thoughts or intentions in their hearts and ended up hurting our folks anyhow. We love to have support from other communities and appreciate the fact that others enjoy aspects of our Cultures, but there is a point where support becomes intrusion and co-opting of Culture and this is not a good thing.

          Come on out, watch, shoot eat frybread and dance some intertribals.... Support the local vendors and maybe pick up some trash off the ground if you really want to pitch in, but other than that, I think I can safely say we have the rest covered just fine.

          Again, as I have stated to the regulars, I am just a young man and my opinion does not mean much yet, but there it is. I do not mean to offend, and hope I have not said anything innappropriate.

          WaDo
          Because of our treaty status, the distinction of being 'Cherokee' is a status of citizenship, not a racial issue.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by tsuj510 View Post
            Thobias-

            I wanted to take a second and respond; my girlfriend and I will be marrying soon-her folks are Swedish (from near Gavle).

            The Swedish culture is a beautiful thing, man, and something to be proud of. No doubt!

            I wanted to share a lesson that I have learned recently, regarding life in general, not anything to do with being NDN, but anyway the lesson is, "Just becuase I WANT to do/can do/feel like I should do/something, does not mean I SHOULD"!

            If you really really want to powwow, go as a spectator. If you really, really want to help Native culture thrive and to last, let US take care of that. I think overall we're doing just fine.

            I think most folks here who are NDN would agree that some of the worst things that we have been through were a direct result of non-natives intruding where they had no business. Many times they acted without bad thoughts or intentions in their hearts and ended up hurting our folks anyhow. We love to have support from other communities and appreciate the fact that others enjoy aspects of our Cultures, but there is a point where support becomes intrusion and co-opting of Culture and this is not a good thing.

            Come on out, watch, shoot eat frybread and dance some intertribals.... Support the local vendors and maybe pick up some trash off the ground if you really want to pitch in, but other than that, I think I can safely say we have the rest covered just fine.

            Again, as I have stated to the regulars, I am just a young man and my opinion does not mean much yet, but there it is. I do not mean to offend, and hope I have not said anything innappropriate.

            WaDo
            i like what your saying, of course you have a point, and you speak from your heart, i respect that
            i want to say, that ,me wanting to dance powwow is not going to help making native americans having it better or worse, and i would not embarass anyone, im not some goofball, just wanting to dress like an "indian" (wich by the way ,i dont like to use,its misleading)
            im "white" and my wife is of mexican heritage,im darker than her, in skin tone. but it did and doesnt matter, i live in a community with 95 % latinos, and i had alot of words thrown at me, white boy , or go back to whiteland, but i didnt care, and her brother and her cousins where bad too, but it was poking fun, cause now after a couple of years its good,
            so now that you are getting married to someone with another background and race( wich doesnt matter of course), when you have kids , will you tell your son or daughter, that they cant participate cause they are not purely native , if you want to belong into a group it shouldnt matter what race you are, as long as you are willing to go by the traditions and rules that follows
            ,i only know one native american, he is navajo, he is a wonderful person, and i havent asked him yet about the powwow, will he get short with me and tell me that i will hurt his people by dancing
            im 23 , i will take my years to collect my regalia, and my dancing will i practice on, its not against the law, to own native crafts or to dance,
            i hope we can talk more, i like to hear voices not only saying go ahead just start dancing, you are showing me ,that it will take time and patience to get accepted,
            its worth everything,
            so again thank you for responding to my thread
            it means alot
            take care , and i hope to hear from you soon again
            sincerely Thobias

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by trob226 View Post
              Hi, Thobias, welcome. I think the way to start would be to attend as many powwows as a spectator as you can, support the native vendors by purchasing, talking to people, getting to know and be known, learning all you can before planning to participate in any other way. If you're new, you have a lot of learning to do first. I've been to several powwows over the years, but I still call myself a newbie. I enjoy being a spectator and don't plan to be more than that. There are many ways to show your respect.
              thank you for your response, i appreciate it ,
              i have realized that its expensive to obtain everything you need for the regalia, it could take som time,
              and also practice on dancing, but first i have to attend as a spectator as you say,
              i dont want this to be easy,
              again thank you for you time
              hope to hear more from you
              take care and have a nice day
              sincerely thobias

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Barb View Post
                Hello Thobias what do you mean exactly by participate?
                Hi! thank you for replying to my thread.
                If i get the chance ever, i would wish to dance the northern traditional, thats the dance im studying and practicing on,
                my regalia , will be either from oglala, blackfeet or crow
                of course im not asuming , my right to dance ,

                hope to hear from you soon, thank you
                sincerely Thobias

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just a friendly reminder, the Spectators forum is a moderated forum. Anything posted here is reviewed by myself or Singing Eagle. As such, there is a delay between when you post and when it shows up here. Please understand that Singing Eagle and I try very hard to check and update all posts several times a day normally. Sometimes you get lucky and we're already online and respond quickly, other times, it may take hours. We get paid the same whether we approve the posts quickly or slowly :-)
                  "It doesn't really matter, they don't know any better anyway."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Thobias View Post
                    i like what your saying, of course you have a point, and you speak from your heart, i respect that
                    i want to say, that ,me wanting to dance powwow is not going to help making native americans having it better or worse, and i would not embarass anyone, im not some goofball, just wanting to dress like an "indian" (wich by the way ,i dont like to use,its misleading)

                    Are you sure? How do you know what you know? Personally anyone who is non-Indian and wants to "dress like an Indian" is a goofball in my book.

                    im "white" and my wife is of mexican heritage,im darker than her, in skin tone. but it did and doesnt matter, i live in a community with 95 % latinos, and i had alot of words thrown at me, white boy , or go back to whiteland, but i didnt care, and her brother and her cousins where bad too, but it was poking fun, cause now after a couple of years its good,
                    so now that you are getting married to someone with another background and race( wich doesnt matter of course), when you have kids , will you tell your son or daughter, that they cant participate cause they are not purely native

                    That is not our tradition and an entirely different conversation. I have EARNED the right to dance and have gone through the appropriate ceremonies to do so and my children will as well, if they chose to do so. This is OUR Right.
                    By your rationale, you have the right to dance powwow becuase you are in good with your wive's Mexican brothers? That makes no sense..


                    , if you want to belong into a group it shouldnt matter what race you are,

                    But sometimes it does and you just have to live with that

                    as long as you are willing to go by the traditions and rules that follows
                    ,i only know one native american, he is navajo, he is a wonderful person, and i havent asked him yet about the powwow, will he get short with me and tell me that i will hurt his people by dancing

                    Well, I don't know; Navajos are not powwow people traditionally, but I'd listen to your friend


                    im 23 , i will take my years to collect my regalia, and my dancing will i practice on, its not against the law, to own native crafts or to dance,

                    Actually, yeah it might actually be against the law if you do not know what you are doing and collect the wrong piece; many laws surround holding feathers and other pieces without a permit


                    i hope we can talk more, i like to hear voices not only saying go ahead just start dancing, you are showing me ,that it will take time and patience to get accepted,
                    its worth everything,
                    so again thank you for responding to my thread

                    I don't mind responding, but you are not listening and its obvious in the words you chose to use that you are intending to dance anyway. Good luck with that; ultimatley you will have to face the Creator to explain your actions.

                    it means alot

                    apparently it dosen't

                    take care , and i hope to hear from you soon again
                    sincerely Thobias
                    Later; kick rocks dude.
                    Because of our treaty status, the distinction of being 'Cherokee' is a status of citizenship, not a racial issue.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      So I guess that's one vote "No" :-)
                      "It doesn't really matter, they don't know any better anyway."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        With Respect

                        Originally posted by hobbs49 View Post
                        So I guess that's one vote "No" :-)
                        Well, Like I say, I am just one young man, but these are the ways I have been taught.

                        Ultimatley, one can only decide for themselves what to do and I'm not some kind of powwow police, I just get so sick of this sense of entitlement that so many non-Indians have.

                        Like I said too, my future wife's family is Swedish; not once have they ever even asked to dance an Intertribal, for example, although she has attended and enjoyed herself, because we have mutual respect for each others' cultures.

                        I'm not trying to take part in the traditions that Creator gave them and vice-versa. I think that is the Way Creator intends it. He wants us to be different because that is the right way.
                        Because of our treaty status, the distinction of being 'Cherokee' is a status of citizenship, not a racial issue.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you really want to help natives and be a part of it then VOTE!

                          Vote for native rights, native funding for education/health/headstarts!

                          As a legal permanent resident, u can vote in the local elections! This is where it counts the most! :)
                          The only time its too late to start dancing is when you're dead.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hello,
                            You have seemed to have picked a dance category that is thought of very strongly in NDN country especially to the North

                            There is a reason it is called Northern Traditional it has evolved from War Dances and other forms of Warrior Dances of Northern Tribes
                            The men that dance this dance are highly thought of among their "tribes"
                            They are carrying on Traditions that stretch back a very long ways in time!

                            I guess my first question is Why Do you want to try this dance???
                            The men that dance this form of dance typically start when they are very young and I mean younggg

                            It takes alot of work to gather the materials together such as the Feathers which should be eagle
                            But since you are non-ndn you cant carry those by law
                            The Bustle would take at least 2 eagles to make it look good

                            Then there is the Roach which should be constructed by someone that has knowledge for it to look good enough to wear

                            Then there is the Bead-work which can take hundreds of man hours to construct

                            Usually a man has Family and uncles and Grandfathers that he can go to and ask for there help to construct his dance clothes

                            But in your case you have yourself
                            I want you to understand the task you have decided to tackle

                            Then there is this:
                            This is a Traditional Dance of alot of Tribes to the North....

                            Too often people come to Powwows and see the pretty clothes and to them the simple steps and say to them-selfs
                            "Hey I could do that"! That looks easy and they go home and read some books on how to do it and then they sit down and construct an "outfit" put it on and go to a local powwow and dance.
                            NO one says anything bad to them so they think hey I can do this and and they do it again till they get tired of it and the clothes go in the closet and eventually the infatuation wears off

                            But to the Northern Tribes this is not an Infatuation this is culture and There ways.

                            I wanted to be a Big League Baseball Player and I even have the pants and the Bat and the cool Hat
                            But I dont have the Skill and Talent to be a Big League Ballplayer...
                            So I buy a ticket and support my team and Cheer when they win and groan when they lose and I go home Happy knowing I supported them

                            Be happy you know your own Culture! There are alot of people in this country that dont and are endlessly searching for it.
                            You are the Fortunate one

                            I vote no
                            ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ - Anigiduwagi
                            Till I Die!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The problem with 'intruders' is that they just get right in there before learning what to do. They slap on some bells and a 'breechclout' and hop around like a mad man.

                              I was a spectator at native powwows for over 5 years before attempting to sing or dance. And I still dont dance at big native powwows because I dont want to intrude and, frankly, feel uncomfortable. Im happy just sitting on the side and watching.

                              there are smaller dances and 'hob' dances that i dance at mostly, and the reason for that is partly to make sure no one does anything stupid. Im not a good speaker or a professional but I consider myself an educator for those who want to learn something.

                              My advice, hang out and watch and meet people. I find that many NDNs are shy and wont start the conversation, but you cant force yourself upon them either (I dont mean to sound like an anthro) I have been involved in NDN culture for only about 16 years (some think that is long, but it is really short) and have only had 'connections' in the past 5 or so.

                              Its great to have a place like PW.COM to meet and learn from people, I wish I was here 16 years ago.
                              There are 2 types of people in the world...
                              Really stupid people who think they are smart
                              and
                              Really smart people who think they are smart.

                              Comment

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