24th National Conference on Undergraduate Research
Pow Wows are celebrations, social gatherings and friendly dance competitions. But, as with the sacred thread that runs through all of life, there are sacred traditions to be found in this coming together of people. Everyone is welcome at most contest powwows, regardless of tribe - non-Indians too. For newcomers to these colorful events, a bit of explanation may enhance the enjoyment and understanding. All cultures have certain behavior expectations which demonstrate respect. There are appropriate ways to behave at a powwow that demonstrate respect for American Indian traditions. These behaviors are reviewed and discussed to educate and prepare students on how to take a respectful place within the powwow circle. This lesson addresses a value central to a culturally diverse, democratic society: respect for heritage and tradition.
A Pow Wow is a Native American gathering that was originated to bring many tribal members together in peace and harmony, and to this day this tradition has continued. The tribal members congregate to show support for one another as well as display traditional wares and dance. For many years, Pow Wows were closed off to the public for various reasons, but now the American Indians welcome anyone who has a true interest in the culture and fellowship. Pow Wows are a great source of learning about Native American culture, and most tribes encourage the public to come.
Pow Wow Etiquette
Before attending a Pow Wow, there are several things you should know. Pow Wows have rules of etiquette that should be followed. To view a list of these rules, click here.
Kyi-Yo Native American Student Association Pamphlet
The University of Montana
600 University Avenue
Missoula, MT 59812
Gathering of Nations "Pow Wow Etiquette"