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differences in traditions

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  • differences in traditions

    Every area has it's own little twists on how powwows are run, but there are some distinct differences between how things are done and what a participant expects from others. Often these differences can cause misunderstanding and even confrontations.

    One that comes to mind for me is the different traditions/expectations on what will happen when money is placed on a drum. Within Northern singing traditions when money is throw/placed on a drum, the group will usually pick the song up and singing more pushes. However if money is thrown/placed on a southern drum it ends the song immediately. The southern drum may or may not start up another song, but the one they were singing by 'tradition' (for lack of a better word) will end immediately.

    Another that comes to mind is when a child is carried into the dance arena by a proud parent wanting to start introducing that child to the powwow world. In some areas this is a big 'no-no', while in most others is a common site.

    I have seen both these happen many was never anything malicious, but instead was just not knowing the differences. In the an attempt to enlighten others can anyone else think of other differences like these that might help someone avoid stepping on toes?

    "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso

    "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why is it called the Present." Master Oogway - KungFu Panda

    My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.

  • #2

    it were a ceromony yes i would understand pow wow is not a ceromony and if it was why as indian people doing it in front of non indians and for money we all have our ways and should follw them in the right way at the appropiate time.just my thoughts.


    • #3
      Gosh bum,

      There are so many regional differences!

      I am just appreciative that a lot of these differences have been discussed on the boards. I think the final word in correct protocol would be "When In Rome do as the Romans do."

      It is SO IMPORTANT to note that what goes on in one powwow region or dance arena may not be appropriate in another area. It is important to know these differences.

      Here are some regional differences that have already been discussed and debated:

      1. Origins of powwow dances?
      2. Entering the arena for the first time - how to do it?
      2. What direction do you dance and why?
      3. Who has the right to wear certain dance regalia?
      4. Appropriate songs for contest dancing?
      5. How do you handle different situations in the arena?
      Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.


      • #4
        ojib country

        around here we do not dance holding our children. long ago it was the custom to hold your child while dancing when you were giving them away. so thats why its such a no no round here. all depends where u go. also round here you can't blow yer whistles at night, they say it calls the spirits, the bad ones. just how it is round here....


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