The sounds of booming drums, singing voices, and jingle-jangles of regalia (ceremonial outfits) fill the dancing arena. In Austin, Texas a powwow occurred on November 4, 2017 and our intern Esther attended. Here she shares her observations and we share cultural insight.
Some events in a traditional powwow include pageants, various dance competitions, and of course delicious fried bread. Some events even hold special ceremonies, like the crowning of Miss Indian World in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The origin of the powwow began with a healing ceremony many years ago. The ceremony’s original name is Pau wau, meaning “he dreams” originating from Algoquian Indian language. Usually, a healing man, or shaman, would dream of the medicines for his patients, but this tradition is no longer found in today’s celebrations. Now, tribes use this as a time to celebrate their heritage and use this opportunity to keep their practices alive. Three main sections to a powwow are listed below:
- Behind the Scenes Usually a Master of Ceremonies (MC) and Arena Director will ensure that the program runs smoothly. While the MC is visiting with the audience,