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  • Head staff and the money thing...

    Just wondering what everyones opinions are about what is considered a fair and reasonable price and benefits to be paid out by the committee? What is considered reasonable price and requests made by the drum/drums? What all is or should be considered when these are negotiated? Is it still reasonable to expect drums/singers to do powwows out of the goodness of their hearts?

    Should head dancers be paid and how much? What about royalty representing a committee?
    Last edited by Mato Winyan; 11-22-2004, 10:34 AM.
    "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume

  • #2
    This all depends on what sort of gathering you are putting on.
    Benefit PW - zero, zip, zilch.
    Contest PW - Equal or greater than first place in their category.
    Tradish - Depends on your budget.

    Princesses expenses should be the responsibility of the Nation/association they represent.

    My expenses should come in the form of one blanket dance. Just kidding. (not LOL-just a silly smile)

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    • #3
      Sookout trivia!

      Fun fact: Head dancers are about as rare as snowballs in hell and straightdancers at powwows in NW Ontario.

      That said, I was a head dancer once donw in the states and the head woman got deathly ill and left in the middle of the powwow - without telling anyone (me included).

      I believe we got paid nuthin, but I had a hella good time leading the two step with an invisible partner :D

      Seriously though, it was an honor and I had fun enough out there that i really didn't need to be paid.
      Last edited by sookout sh'nob; 11-23-2004, 12:59 AM.
      Mii iw keyaa ezhi-ditibiseyaan

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      • #4
        My opinion is that you just accept the invitation or not without any thought about the money and/or accomidations. I know some people that think they should recieve a motel room and a lot of money.

        I have been in headstaff positions often. If I am available for that particular date and time I will accept if my family agrees, sometimes even if they don't. The money is not of any concern, I have been places that I recieved nothing but a meal. My feelings were the same as if I recieved a lot of money. I was taught to never check the money until I was gone from the area. Usually I would give the gift(s) to my wife. This is even the case with the give away items.

        I have taught our kids never to accept or decline based on the gifts, don't negotiate.

        I think that many singers today are about the money and anything else they can get from the committee.

        I can go on with more pet pieves but will stop for now. Very good (?).
        BOB

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CHEROSAGE
          I have been in headstaff positions often. If I am available for that particular date and time I will accept if my family agrees, sometimes even if they don't.
          It's good you mentioned this part, because I forgot. :D

          A couple of times someone has asked me or the Missuz to be a head-somthin-or-other and not the other... it's our custom out of respect for one another to decline. I figure that's pretty good.

          In short - I don't make a move without her say so
          Last edited by sookout sh'nob; 11-23-2004, 10:30 AM. Reason: spelling
          Mii iw keyaa ezhi-ditibiseyaan

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          • #6
            Sookie, you sound like that lady on Dances with wolves. " You are my man. I go where you go."

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            • #7
              I'm currently on a powwow committee and we are dealing with this now. I've had many conversations with my relatives back home who are also dancers and an uncle that has had a drum for many years. They all told me what you set/give as an honorarium is up to the committee; it doesn't always have to be money.

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              • #8
                Ki I gave ya good rep and forgot to sign my name.... :Chatter


                We have the MC., Whipmen and Whipwomen, the committee, maybe an AD too but that's about all. The Whipman that I know, sometimes gets paid and sometimes verily gets a thank you, it all depends on the committee. I feel bad for him when he doesn't get recognized after all of his hard work.

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                • #9
                  Head Elder Man/Woman - $$ (same or greater than adults' first place) + room + food + powwow merchandise

                  Head Man/Woman - $$ (same or greater than adults' first place) + room + food+ powwow merchandise

                  Head Young Lady/ Young Man - $$ (same or greater than teens' first place) + room + food+ powwow merchandise

                  MC's - $$ (same or greater than adults' first place) + room + food+ powwow merchandis

                  Arena Directors - We're doing it a little different this year. We have a husband and wife that are going to do it together.
                  $$ (greater than adults' first place) + room + food for family+ powwow merchandise for family

                  Host Drums (2) - I guess we spend about $10k on the drums, but that's including rooms & travel $$ ahead

                  We have people in our committee where their only job is to keep the drummers & head staff happy throughout the powwow. They bring them food, pop, water, krispy kremes, grapes, ciggs, coffee...take them out to dinner after the evening session...it's a fun job:)
                  there's no "i" in Yakama

                  My Website

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                  • #10
                    Oh yeah - I forgot to mention...

                    Outgoing Royalty - walk around money + room + gifts from committee + food for family

                    Incoming Royalty - %ticket sales + gifts from committee + food for family + crown/shawl/sash
                    there's no "i" in Yakama

                    My Website

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                    • #11
                      WHAT!!!! You mean we are supposed to get paid to be head staff?????????????? LOL
                      Just kidding. If you have it to give, then clarify it upon asking your headstaff so they will know the deal before accepting or declining. That way, there are no hard feelings about whether they are getting paid or not.
                      We usually just accept out of respect for even being asked. LOL
                      But, really.....as a committee, come to an agreement with your staff so everyone is on the same page. Most people will agree if they are available anyways. I would consider all the factors, travel, rooms etc when you are inviting people from a long distance. Just use common sense and good communication.
                      I am thankful for my grandparents, my parents, my brothers, my aunties and uncles, my children, my companion and all of those who influenced me to be strong and proud of being who I am and where I come from. Knowledge is power

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                      • #12
                        My family also co-sponsors a dance in MO. We have a very limited budget, mostly what we raise from 50/50's and other raffles. The rest would have to come from my pocket. We have to pay the State Fair a great deal of money for a small building, we moved inside due to the heat. We don't have a contest just a nice liesurely tradish powwow. We do invite a headsinger, headman, headlady, A.D. , and I try to be the M.C.. We share as best we can with our headstaff. We have an evening dinner on Sat afternoon, this is offered by our committee to all that come and help us. Just a little thanks for everyone that comes to share our dance.

                        I am not able to provide any motel rooms. I am always willing to help anyone find a nice place to stay if they don't want to camp, we pay for all the powwow camper fees for this week- end. Our fairgrounds have nice facilities for camping, near the building we dance in.

                        I'm not able to pay a great deal for a drum either. I am able to come up with $$$.% and again no rooms. I have arranged rooms for the drum and deducted the room fee from the drum $$$.%. I always discuss this matter with our headsinger prior to actually doing so. One time I did have a breakdown and arranged a room for the headsinger. When the dance came to an end we had our committee special. We did OK financially. I Shared more with the rest of the staff but considered the room as an additional share for the drum. They would have actually done better with an ending share than the room purchase; BUT they just had to have the room for their family that actually didn't show until the last day. I really hate to discuss money but will if the staff to be requires it. I believe we have a good time and a fun dance, most have good things to say when it is all said and done.
                        BOB

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                        • #13
                          During the early 90's. We invited Haystack and Jonathan Windy Boy for a powwow in Southern California. Haystack was paid $500 and Jonathan Windy Boy was paid $250 plus he was able to compete in the contest which paid $125 for first place. It was a small contest powwow which explains the low pay. We had no sponsors, just vendor money, money out of my family's pocket and my weekly pay check of $450.
                          Last edited by quicksilverwade; 11-24-2004, 12:54 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by uw_n8iv
                            Head Elder Man/Woman - $$ (same or greater than adults' first place) + room + food + powwow merchandise

                            Head Man/Woman - $$ (same or greater than adults' first place) + room + food+ powwow merchandise

                            Head Young Lady/ Young Man - $$ (same or greater than teens' first place) + room + food+ powwow merchandise

                            MC's - $$ (same or greater than adults' first place) + room + food+ powwow merchandis

                            Arena Directors - We're doing it a little different this year. We have a husband and wife that are going to do it together.
                            $$ (greater than adults' first place) + room + food for family+ powwow merchandise for family

                            Host Drums (2) - I guess we spend about $10k on the drums, but that's including rooms & travel $$ ahead

                            We have people in our committee where their only job is to keep the drummers & head staff happy throughout the powwow. They bring them food, pop, water, krispy kremes, grapes, ciggs, coffee...take them out to dinner after the evening session...it's a fun job:)
                            ___

                            uw_N*:

                            I do have to say your powwow is on the higher end of both the drum payscale AND hospitality scale. We were your host drum in the past and we were treated like royalty. Thank you. The University of Washington Indian students really have their act together and sponsor a primo powwow!

                            The payscale you shared is a good criteria to go by in the Mega Powwow circuit.

                            Even though we get top money, air tickets, hotel rooms at some powwows such as yours, we also serve as host drum for practically nothing in our local community. (Just so we don't go under and get a meal out of it.) *L

                            ___


                            Really folks, if the head staff has to travel an enourmous distance, you can bet there will be financial negotiations!

                            It's expensive to travel nowadays *L
                            Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

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                            • #15
                              One critical item that a lot of committees overlook or see as a minor issue is the sound system. You can invite the best MC you can get and have world champion drum groups, but if you neglect to provide an adequete sound system, you might as well have head staff that are willing to listen only to what is happening right in front of the MC stand.

                              The audio at any event is something we tend to take for granted, never really paying close attention to it unless it's less than perfect or gone entirely. No one really understands how important a role the audio technician, and the quality of the audio equipment really plays in the enjoyment of the event. The sound system and sound equipment need to be top quality, and the equipment rigging needs to be handled by the utmost professional.

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