It is a gathering of Native American people to join in dancing, singing, visiting with old friends and making new friends.
The Master of Ceremonies keeps the powwow moving by announcing and explaining the different styles of dances and events to the spectators and participants. He will also explain about the difference in the drums.
The Arena Director is responsible for every thing that takes place in the Dance Arena. He will make sure the drums are liocated in the correct locations and that dancers are in place. He will also maintain the order of dance and drum contests, if any, and social dances.
The Dance Arena is where all dancing and some powwow events take place. It has been blessed before the powwow begins and is considered sacred ground during the powwow. The bleachers surrounding the dance arena are for the spectators to sit on.
One of the most important things in the life of a Native American is the Drum. Our whole culture centers around the Drum. Without the Drum and the singers around it, the Native Americans could not have pow wows. The Drum brings the heart beat of our Earth Mother to the pow wow for all to feel and hear. Drumming brings everyone back into balance. Whether dancing , singing, or just listening, people around the Drum can connect with spirit. It is no wonder the Drum should be treated with great respect.
The most common dance styles for men at modern day powwows are Grass, Fancy, Straight and Nothern Traditional. The women dance styles are Buckskin, Cloth, Jingle and Fancy Shawl. You may also see other styles such as Chicken, Smoke or Bird. Also Gourd dancing, the dancers are Veterans of the armed services.
Grand Entry is the start of the powwow. This is when all dancers come into the dance arena led in by the flags, head dancers and veterans. All spectators should stand and refrain from talking.
During some "Inter-Tribal" dances the Master of Ceremonies will invite everyone to come into the circle and join in the dance. If you do not know how to do the dance you should walk with the beat. Look around to see how other men and women your age are dancing.
If possible, please make a monetary donation during the special blanket dances announced by the Master of Ceremonies.
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