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  • First Pow Wow

    I am sure all the Pow Wow's are amazing, I have never been to one or to America. I was hoping to travel next year. In Ireland, we have St. Patricks day,,,what would be 'THE' Pow Wow to visit? Tks L

  • #2
    A lot of which powwow is going to be best will depend on a number of factors:

    America is huge; travel distances can be quite large. Your selection of powwow is going to depend on where in the US you're arriving and how much driving and/or flying on local commuter airlines you're willing to do.

    Also you need to decide whether or not you want to go to a powwow that has restaurants and hotels near by. And whether or not you want to be in a climate controlled venue, with nice restrooms, seating, wi-fi and concessions. Or are you willing to bring your own chair; face heat, bugs, rain, and dust; put up with portapotties; have your food options be hot dogs, Indian tacos, corn soup and lemonade; and camp or drive a distance to a motel.

    Here are a couple of powwows in or near metropolitan areas. (Please note that some web pages have not been updated for 2023 yet):

    Gathering of Nations -- Albuquerque, NM

    There is lots to see in the Albq area. There is Santa Fe, White Sands, Chaco Canyon, Acoma, Taos... Good food. Lots of hotels.

    Denver March Powwow -- Denver, CO

    Denver is a major city at the foot of the Rockies. There are many many beautiful parks and lots of spectacular sightseeing in Colorado. There are a couple museums in Denver with major collections of Native American art. It's a semidecent jumping off spot if you're into all that Wild West/Indian Wars tourism, up in Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska and the Dakotas, with the caveat that there is a lot of driving involved.

    Morongo Thunder and Lightening Powwow -- near Palm Springs, CA

    Sorry, I don't know this area well. I've only been in the area a couple times, mostly as a kid down in Indio visiting family who run a date farm. I went to an art workshop up in mountains to the west, which are beautiful if really full of tourists.

    He Sapa Wacipi na Oskate -- Rapid City, SD

    Rapid City is a city you'll have to fly into from a major airport. However it is in the heart of Lakota country. In my very biased opinion the Black Hills are the most beautiful place on earth. There are tons of places to go: Wind Cave, the Badlands, Black Elk Peak... (If you get really serious about heading that direction, PM me. I have 4-5 page list of places to see in that area.)

    Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial -- Gallup, NM

    Gallup is on historic Route 66. It is near (western American near, meaning within a days drive) the Grand Canyon, Chaco Canyon, the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest, Zuni, Hopi, Monument Valley.

    Ceremonial is somewhat different from the rest of these powwows. It is in the heart of Navajo and Pueblo country. These folks aren't historically powwowing tribes. Ceremonial has a lot of different kinds of dancing, not just the usual powwow dances. It also has a rodeo, artist market, and a bunch of other events.

    United Tribes Powwow -- Bismark, ND

    Bismark is a small city in central ND. I'm afraid I'm not familiar with attractions the area. I haven't been there since I was a little kid, again visiting family in the area.

    More rural powwows:

    These are generally outdoor powwows. Some are in areas that are fairly far off the beaten path.

    Crow Fair -- Crow Agency, MT

    Rocky Boy -- Harve, MT

    Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community​ Wacipi -- Shakopee, MN

    Oglala Nation Fair -- Pine Ridge, SD

    Rosebud Fair -- Rosebud, SD

    American Indian Expo -- Anadarko, OK

    Comanche Nation Fair -- Lawton, OK

    Anyway, I could go on at length. But I think you'll need to do some homework and decide what you want to see and where you will be traveling in the US.


    • #3
      Thank you for all that information, I was looking at the one in Dakota before, but it would take me 14 hrs of two flights to get there, but I'm sure it would be worth it. Looks very beautiful. I'll check it all out and do a bit of research. Tks again


      • #4
        If you can get nonstop, Dublin to Chicago is about 9 hrs. Then Chicago to Rapid nonstops is 3 hrs. Like I said, the US is a big country, lol.

        There are powwows on the east coast, but they tend to be -- uh -- smaller and different. You need to be a bit more careful to make sure the powwow is being run by a legitimate Indian organization. I'll let someone else explain about east coast powwows.

        Schemitzun -- Mashantucket, CT

        I haven't been to Schemitzen since I was postdocing in Boston in the late 1990's. Back in those days, it was in the Hartford Civic Center. What struck me was then was that the dancing and singing was very good. There was big prize money up for the singing competition and there were more drum groups than I had ever seen in one place. But, there was nearly no audience. (I was used to fighting for a seat in the Pit at Gathering of Nations and it was downright weird to be able to pick just abut any seat I wanted.) This powwow has had some serious ups and downs since I last went. I suspect, but don't know, that it is not much like it used to be.

        Cherokee Powwow -- Cherokee, NC

        Cherokee, NC is in the heart of the Smoky Mountains. This is a beautiful area with a lot of hiking and camping. The area was also settled by a lot of Scots-Irish folks; there is a unique strong culture in the area. I did my undergrad work in a school in the area and just love it.

        Besides a powwow, what else are you trying to see in the US? Where do you plan to visit? That may help us point you to something closer to that area.


        • #5
          No plans as yet, I suppose the initial plan before covid was to get to New York for four days, but I thought it would be nice to take in a Pow wow and go for longer,,,,so we'd be fairly flexible to visiting an area, my daughter, does equestrian studies, she'd love to see the horses, etc, training etc. I suppose it would be nice to visit a city and some country side too,,,so maybe Chicago would be good,,direct flight out of here to there,,


          • #6
            Wow, four days isn't enough to see New York City properly, let alone getting upstate. There are several powwows in the NYC area, including this one out on Long Island

            Shinnecock Powwow -- Southampton, NY

            I don't know anything about this dance.

            While you'll find horse breeding and training everywhere in the States. But there are some areas where it is a bigger business and/or has a greater historic association.

            Kentucky is a big area for Thoroughbred breeding and training. Some of the stud farms in the state have tours. Some of them may be similar to the Irish National Stud. (As I recall that was a pretty impressive tour.) It's a 12-14 hrs drive to central KY from NYC or a 3 hr flight from NYC to Cincinnati, OH and then a several hour drive to whatever part of KY you want to see.

            Working horses for ranches are raised and trained all over. But Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma and Wyoming, especially along the old Goodnight and Chisholm cattle trails, have many guest ranches. Some of these are working ranches or heritage ranches where you can see horses in a working environment.


            • #7
              The Cherokee of Georgia hold a couple of powwows during the year. A Spring one and a Fall one. Here's a link to their FB page if you think you might be interested. It's near the Okefenokee Swamp. A lot of people who come to this area to visit always stop at the swamp. I asked a German visitor why that was, and he replied that Europe doesn't have alligators. Made sense to me. That area also has a wide variety of bird life including some that are on the endangered list.
              Take nothing for granted. Life can change irrevocably in a heartbeat.

              I will not feed the troll-well, I will try.


              • #8
                Alligators, LOL. When I was at Rice, we used to take the foreign grad students down to Brazos Bend State Park to see the alligators (and feed the mosquitos). One year I thought we were going to inadvertently feed a first year Orgo grad student to a huge momma 'gator.

                In keeping with the trend of making all thread about food.... The meat is pretty good blackened with a nice romoulade sauce. The 'gator meat not the grad student meat, LOL.

                One of the weird, tendy tourist things in Texas is going to one of the big Buc-ee's. Folks have seen some internet video of someone visiting one of the huge Buc-ee's and eating beaver nuggets. A couple years ago we had an engineer from Nates, she went to a conference in Houston and stopped at the big Buc-ee's in Madisonville. She took pictures of the over 100 gas pumps. She talked about it for months. (Had she been driving down I-45 on the Weds before Thanksgiving, when you have to wait 20 mins for a free pump, she might have understood, lol.)


                • #9
                  You must visit america it is very beautiful pow pow.


                  • #10
                    Hi everyone I am new here


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                    • loufran
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                      by loufran
                      I am sure all the Pow Wow's are amazing, I have never been to one or to America. I was hoping to travel next year. In Ireland, we have St. Patricks day,,,what would be 'THE' Pow Wow to visit? Tks L
                      12-13-2022, 10:34 AM

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