What Is A Pow Wow?
A modern Pow Wow refers to any public or private gathering of First Nations People of North America. Native American Indians meet to dance, sing, socialize, as well as to honour and share their Native American cultures, rituals and traditions. Public Pow Wows are held mostly in the summer months, across almost every state and province in North America. Pow Wows vary in length from single day events, to major Pow Wows called for a special occasion which can be up to one week long.
The heart of any Pow Wow is the drum. It is its beat of the celebration in which all the dancers move to in order to honour Mother Earth during every dance at the Pow Wow. A big part of any Pow Wow is the dancing competition portion. Some of the bigger Pow Wow's have significant prize money awarded for the dance competitions. Let's take a closer look at the different dances involved in most Pow Wows.
The Grand EntryThis is the Pow Wow's opening dance where the flag bearers enter first. Most times the flag bearers are war veterans who carry in the country's flag. After that the Chiefs, Elders and tribal leaders enter. Next the dancers enter with the men leading, then the women followed by any children. This dance is sacred in nature so spectators are asked to not take any pictures.
Men’s Traditional DanceThe Men’s Traditional dance is one of the oldest Pow Wow dances. The warrior in each dancer is portrayed through this dance. It is a spiritual dance that portrays the war and hunting stories of the dancer's historical ancestors.
Men's Grass DanceThe Grass Dance is named as such because its dancers stomp their feet in a way that looks like they are flattening out grass on a field.
Men's Fancy DanceThe Men's Fancy Dance is almost 100 years old and was created as a form of entertainment for people visiting Aboriginal reservations. It is one of the flashiest and most colourful of the Pow Wow dances as the garb worn by the dancer is both elaborate and colourful. Younger men usually perform this dance as the dancers must be in excellent physical condition because it involves constant jumping and twirling, along with fancy footwork.
Women's Traditional DanceThe Women's Traditional Dance is a noble dance in which the dancers move in a slow and sedated walk. During the dance, the women's feet are in constant contact with the ground, which demonstrates the graceful and sacred connection with Mother Earth.
Women's Fancy Shawl DanceOriginally, the women danced this piece wearing a blanket and then over time added long ribbons and embroidery making it more of a shawl. This dance involves the women holding the ends of their shawl out so that it looks like they have butterfly wings. The dancers move around using kicks, spins and fast movements.
Women's Jingle Dress DanceThe Jingle Dress Dance is both spiritual and one that ministers healing. It takes a period of one year for a jingle dress to be handmade with 365 triangular shaped pouches attached to it. The jingle pouches have a little tobacco inserted in each of them making it a medicine dress in nature. The dancer is asked to help heal the sick as she sends 365 prayers to the creator during her Dance.
At every Pow Wow there is one thing you'll notice for sure and that is every dancer will be wearing a pair of Traditional moccasins as their dancing shoes of choice. There's no other natural shoes that will connect the dancer better to Mother Earth and the beat of the drum, than a pair of genuine handmade moccasins. At Leather Moccasins we sell classic moccasin footwear in a variety of styles and sizes so men, women and children can all find the perfect, fresh, new pair of slip on shoes to wear to their upcoming Pow Wow. We have fast shipping, helpful customer care, good prices with a secure checkout. Visit one of our product pages and take a look at a pair of authentic or traditional style moccasins, today.