Photo: Native Americans at Powwow held in the northwestern United States, ca. 1900. Notice the drum circle on the left.

Join the oldest celebration in the United States in Powwow.

The powwow is a tradition shared by many Native Americans. The original powwows were displays of song, dance, and drumming to honor war heroes or religious occasions. Powwows were also a time to meet and discuss important issues.

Today, the powwow is a time when Native Americans visit old friends and make new ones. And, most importantly, it is a time to share Native American culture through song, drumming, stories, dance, crafts, food and fun! 

Photo: Courtesy of Library of Congress

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Intertribal Powwow | Periscope
Intertribal Powwow | Periscope

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Periscope attended an "Intertribal" Powwow in Columbia, South Carolina. An Intertribal Powwow invites Native Americans from all tribes, or Indian Nations, to attend. Among the many local tribes, we...
The Grand Entry | Periscope
The Grand Entry | Periscope

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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...
The Drum Circle | Periscope
The Drum Circle | Periscope

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The Drum Circle symbolizes the heart beat of the earth. Thunderous powwow drums, sometimes called community drums, are made of wood and have heads of elk, moose, buffalo, horse, or cow. Native...
Dance | Periscope
Dance | Periscope

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One of the most important parts of a powwow is dancing. Dancers in fancy costumes perform steps to songs of the drum circle. Sometimes different tribes, or Indian Nations, dance together. This is...
Traditional Dances | Periscope
Traditional Dances | Periscope

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Traditional Dances have been passed down many generations. The dances often represent a hunter as he stalks his prey, or a warrior looking for his enemies. Many of these dances originated with Native...
Fancy Dances | Periscope
Fancy Dances | Periscope

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Fancy Dances are more lively, colorful, and exaggerated. These dances began in the 20th century as different tribes around the country started meeting through powwows. The dancers shared moves and...
The Jingle Dress Dance | Periscope
The Jingle Dress Dance | Periscope

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The Jingle Dress Dance is a dance for girls and women. The regalia for the Jingle Dress dance features a skirt adorned with small bells. The bells jingle loudly to the beat of the dances. This dance...
The Grass Dance | Periscope
The Grass Dance | Periscope

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The Grass Dance originated with northern tribes, and was eventually passed down to southern tribes. It gets its name from the tradition of tying sweetgrass to the belts of the dancers. Today, the...
Arts, Crafts and Food! Fry Bread | Periscope
Arts, Crafts and Food! Fry Bread | Periscope

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Arts, Crafts and Food! Have you ever tasted fry bread or made a dreamcatcher? Powwows are great places to experience Native American crafts, clothing and food. Fry bread can be found at most powwows...
Dreamcatcher | Periscope
Dreamcatcher | Periscope

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We saw many Native American crafts at the powwow. Jewelry, clothing, and crafts such as "dreamcatchers" were popular items. The origin of the dreamcatcher is hard to determine. Different tribes...