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  • Powwows: Is it a universal Indian thing?

    I often talk to people who wish to learn more about powwows.

    One quote I use is, "Where ever there are pockets of Indians, there are powwows. Powwows are held in all 50 states."

    I know not every Indian powwows and there are many Indians who do not go to powwows for one reason or another.

    In thinking about this further,

    I wonder .... are there individuals from every tribe and first nations group that powwow?



    I know of Inuits and Inupiats (Alaska and Nanuvit) who powwow. I know a Passamaquoddy (Maine) who powwows. I know a Wiyot and Mono (Northern and Central California) who powwows. I know Native Hawaiians who powwow. I know of Houmas and Miccosukees (Louisiana and Florida) who powwow.



    What tribes or native groups can you think of that have absolutely no individual members that powwow?


    Are powwows (and believing in The Creator) and possibly frybread *L the only things that are universal to Natives and First Nations people?
    Last edited by WhoMe; 12-28-2006, 10:21 AM.
    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

  • #2
    hmmmmm...

    this is a good question... and kinda hard to answer.

    i would like to agree and say that yes powwows are universal, but it's not always the deal...

    over the years i've noticed more and more people participating in powwows who aren't typically powwow people... or powwow tribes... and they do participate (whether they dance or sing) and travel from powwow to powwow

    i guess i always assumed that powwows were universal... until one year a group of us ndns went to schemitzun to look on... and i learned otherwise...
    it caught me off guard when my friends (who were onondaga, pueblo and yaqui) didn't know a thing about powwows! they didn't know the different dance styles, the difference between northern & southern singing, protocol, etc...
    i was shocked!... and kinda bummed at the same time because i LOVE powwows and couldn't really share the same kinda love w/my fellow skins. granted they may have been to a powwow or two in their past... they didn't care to look on, watch the dances and of course ever particpate... which is why they didn't really know anything about 'em
    it really threw me off and made me think about it again and realize that these folks aren't powwow people and don't even know the first thing about it! i tried to tell them as much as i could and explain as best as i could, but to me they just couldn't appreciate it as much as i - how could they if they weren't powwow people?
    it was so different to experience something like that because i grew up around powwows... as soon as i learned to walk, i was out there dancing... and i've always naturally assumed other skins were the same way, that they were universal and we all shared the same kinda knowledge - but i guess not! i guess i'm fortunate in a way...
    anyway it's hard to answer whether they're universal or not because i've encountered a lot of folks like that who don't know the first thing... and it could be for a variety of reasons - however i don't think being a city ndn is any kind of excuse!
    "i don't like to walk fast man - i like to strut!"

    Comment


    • #3
      When I was in college, a lot of the Navajos would say "Navajos don't powwow, we ceremony" but that was an excuse to not help with our college powwow. I think everyone knows a Navajo who does powwow.

      Comment


      • #4
        This Jenny has been around the block...........kiddin....

        Well I have seen Hoopa too, Cabazon, Yaqui, lots of the smaller tribes at the powwows but not too many powwow dancers, they mostly do shows of their dances at the powwow events, their mostly into their bird singing and stick game contests. There are many southern tribes that don't powwow, persay, but there are so many 'mixed' bloods that most of them end up powwowing...LOL

        I always have to remember not everyone powwows. There are alot of people in our Native American Club who has never seen a powwow or even know about it, yet alone their own heritage. So its been fun educating these kids and families, while educating ourselves. Believe it or not, not all Navajo's powwow either..... **shock**.

        Powwows to me are just a gathering of fun, competition, food, getting to see old faces and meet new ones. It's just a good way to have the lil one in a positive environment instead of lookin to the streets, etc. Now that he's growin up the elders that are in the circuit, the sober ones, and the wise ones that are involved really help him in more ways than one. It's no way our ceremony, etc, we get that done back home. But its something we choose to do every weekend we can get, cuz its fun.........
        You have crossed my path, You will never be forgotten......


        EMAIL ME for GON 2014 Special Hotel, Air, and Car Rates...limited availability. Powwow special rates across the US and Canada. I also offer great vacation, business, and specialty fares to every destination in the world! Email for the rates
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        • #5
          Originally posted by WhoMe

          What tribes or native groups can you think of that have absolutely no individual members that powwow?


          Are powwows (and believing in The Creator) and possibly frybread *L the only things that are universal to Natives and First Nations people?
          Answer to #1: The Slapahoes don't pow wow, just '9.

          Answer to #2: We also have alcohol and promiscuity in common.

          Comment


          • #6
            Aztecs 'n those So. American tribes that hang upside down from a polel-nooooo, not that sort of upside down from a pole, lol-or are we talking No. American tribes only.
            "I Ahula Ula"
            Enjoying the ride.
            BETA SIGMA EPSILON

            Comment


            • #7
              Naaaaah................

              The B I N G O halls are, yep they surely are universal Indian past times too!
              [FONT=Garamond]RainbowDreamer

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by WhoMe
                I often talk to people who wish to learn more about powwows.

                One quote I use is, "Where ever there are pockets of Indians, there are powwows. Powwows are held in all 50 states."

                I know not every Indian powwows and there are many Indians who do not go to powwows for one reason or another.

                In thinking about this further,

                I wonder .... are there individuals from every tribe and first nations group that powwow?



                I know of Inuits and Inupiats (Alaska and Nanuvit) who powwow. I know a Passamaquoddy (Maine) who powwows. I know a Wiyot and Mono (Northern and Central California) who powwows. I know Native Hawaiians who powwow. I know of Houmas and Miccosukees (Louisiana and Florida) who powwow.



                What tribes or native groups can you think of that have absolutely no individual members that powwow?


                Are powwows (and believing in The Creator) and possibly frybread *L the only things that are universal to Natives and First Nations people?


                i dont think it can be applied as a universal kinda thing. even in my own family it varies, my wife and i powwow. i have a sister who hits maybe one or two powwows a year. my father wont powwow (not doesnt, but wont) other siblings dont but would if they sold beer.

                but heres a new question for you....
                how are you defining the verb of 'powwow'?
                my wife is a white colar professional and im a contractor so we dont get to hit as many as we'd like but we do get to as many as we can. usually about 10 to 15 a year.
                now, my sister who hits maybe 1 or 2 year.... as compared to us does she 'powwow' ?
                how many powwows a year do you have to average before you 'powwow'? or does just going to one at all mean you 'powwow'?

                The older I get the less of a deterrent life without parole gets

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by FluteMaker
                  but heres a new question for you....
                  how are you defining the verb of 'powwow'?

                  FluteM,

                  Powwow (v) - refers to the act of voluntarily attending powwows (*my own definition).

                  I am trying to substantiate my opinion that "someone in almost every single tribe, First Nations and Alaskan native group - Powwows (v)?"
                  Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think it will be hard to find a tribe that does not have a least one person who powwows.

                    Even that small tribe at the bottom of the Grand Canyon powwows and even host a powwow. lol

                    Maybe that one small tribe in way south texas, that speaks spanish?,,?....????

                    I had a "christian" indian lady tell me once that powwows were the bad because indians dance to the devil. So that is why her husband won't go. Several years later, I saw that same woman at a powwow. She had gotten divorced and was now dating/married to a gourd dancer. LOL

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kiyaanii mom
                      She had gotten divorced and was now dating/married to a gourd dancer. LOL



                      kiyaani,


                      That's because dem' gourd dancers really know "HOW TO SHAKE IT!"



                      *L
                      Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WhoMe
                        FluteM,

                        Powwow (v) - refers to the act of voluntarily attending powwows (*my own definition).

                        I am trying to substantiate my opinion that "someone in almost every single tribe, First Nations and Alaskan native group - Powwows (v)?"


                        i think pretty much every tribe or nation is gooing to have at least a few representative powwow goers. just as all tribes and nations are going to have representative church goers, politicians etc., etc.

                        The older I get the less of a deterrent life without parole gets

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kiyaanii mom
                          I had a "christian" indian lady tell me once that powwows were the bad because indians dance to the devil...
                          I was told the Indian Shaker Church (mostly a Northwest Coastal/Plateau thing) originally forbid its members to go to powwows or any other kind of Indian "ceremony". But I know several Shakers that powwow today. The Sauk-Suiattle Powwow even had a Shaker Church service before the Sunday session.

                          Back to the topic in general...

                          My Coastal friends all tell me the same thing ... Plains Indian powwows were never a part of their ways, but many Coastal tribes adopted the tradition. I know quite a few Coastals who don powwow regalia all throughout the summer, then put it away to do their traditional ways by winter. They say there are people within their communities who are actually sort of against powwows because they are afraid their own canoe/smokehouse culture could get lost in it. I dunno. Those Coastals who powwow seem to keep separate whatever needs to be separate, and whatever isn't I guess just has to be handled within their own communities. The Plateau/River families over the decades managed to mix their own old ways with the Plains ways very well; in fact I am told the Roundbustle actually comes to the powwow from the Plateau, and yet the powwow itself was never from here. I sit on a drum every Wednesday with about eight young Yakama boys, only two of whom go to Washat and none go to Shaker Church or medicine dance, but yet they and so many of their relatives are multi-generation powwow dancers. It is so mixed in that there really doesn't seem to be any conflct. They are no less "Yakama" than even the most ardent Longhouse families, many of whom are also powwowers anyway.

                          It just goes to show that powwow is sort of universal, and really not all that universal, at least up here in the Northwest, if that makes any sense...
                          "Friends don't let friends drink decaf..."
                          Wakalapi's $49 unlimited phone service www.49deal.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think those that don't pow-wow don't understand what's really going on there.

                            Its a large gathering of all types of tribes in one place. How could one NOT think a good time is going on? or maybe thats the fear... tooooo good of a time is going on.
                            The only time its too late to start dancing is when you're dead.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Wakalapi
                              I was told the Indian Shaker Church (mostly a Northwest Coastal/Plateau thing) originally forbid its members to go to powwows or any other kind of Indian "ceremony". But I know several Shakers that powwow today. The Sauk-Suiattle Powwow even had a Shaker Church service before the Sunday session.

                              My Coastal friends all tell me the same thing ... Plains Indian powwows were never a part of their ways, but many Coastal tribes adopted the tradition....

                              Wakalpi,

                              The coastal tribes along with many, many other tribes that did not have powwows before have adopted powwow.

                              I recently had a conversation about this with a good friend of mine. He brought out a good point. "There are many tribes in existance today that are "Culturally Bankrupt" and have adopted powwow to fulfill a need of inclusion with other native people and culture."

                              Is this valid?

                              Another good point of discussion that you brought up would be " many ceremonial people are concerned about how powwows are taking their people away from their ceremonial obligations." This concern is widespread across North America.


                              Any comment? Anyone?
                              Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                              Comment

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