• Submitted By: Dlow
  • Date Submitted: 10/28/2008 1:11 PM
  • Category: Miscellaneous
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Mike Smith

Anthropology 101

Tristan Garret

August 22, 2006

In this paper I will examine what a Native American Powwow is all about. I will share the meanings of these ceremonies. I will also explore the songs, dancing, meaning, and attire. Native Americans are very amazing people and they have very interesting backgrounds in their culture.

Native Americans have ceremonies (dances) called powwows. These dances are carried on for different purposes. There are dances for joy, grief, healing and spiritual dances. Native Americans are very spiritual people. A non-native American would look at these dances as simply a dance. In the Native American culture, the meaning of their dances have a more profound meaning. Young and old celebrate powwows. Powwows are Native people’s way of meeting together, in dancing, singing, visiting, getting together with old friends and making new friends. In these dances there are dancers, singers, beating of drums, gift giving and very vibrant clothing.

The word powwow itself is from an Indian word that has been Anglicized. It is derived from the Algonquian term "pau-qau" or “pauau”, which referred to a gathering of medicine men and/or spiritual leaders (powwow-power, found on 8/8/08). The history of the Native American dances is very vague. “Because in the 1890’s the traditional Indian dances were illegal under the Bureau of Indians Affairs” (powwow-power, found on 8/8/08). There are many different stories about when the powwows were first originated. One story is the government forced the Native Americans to put on these dances for their entertainment.

Powwows have been a part of the Native Americans for many years. Still to this day they celebrate these gathering with family and friends. In some tribes these dances are held every weekend in certain months of the...