The Grand Entry
At the beginning of a powwow, there is a "Grand Entry." During the Grand Entry, everyone rises to their feet as an elder leads a parade of dancers into a round arena. Participants hold flags that represent the tribes in attendance. Drums beat out the grand entry song and the dancers join together in an opening dance. Because the Grand Entry is considered sacred, photography is not allowed.
People at a powwow are asked to respect several rules that make the event special. Some of these are:
The ground in the arena is blessed and should be respected.
Only flag bearers and dancers in regalia (traditional clothing of a dancer) can participate in the Grand Entry.
Differences should be left outside the dance circle.
The arena is not a playground.
The arena should always be entered and exited from the east.
If a feather falls, do not pick it up. Only a Veteran Dancer may pick up an eagle feather.
Once the grand entry is over, the powwow continues with dance and drum contests for both children and adults.