The term Powwow has been loosely used in western movies. In the movies the cowboys or soldiers would meet with the Indians and have a Powwow or meeting. This comparison is not totally incorrect but it is not one hundred percent accurate either.
The first discrepancy is that an actual powwow is a celebration not a meeting to discuss terms of war or land with potential enemies.
A powwow is better described as a coming together of tribes to celebrate togetherness and the beauty of Mother Earth.
The earliest documented Powwow was in 1899. This Powwow was held in Montana.
Traditionally Powwows were held in conjunction with the seasons and the planting, hunting and harvesting that occurred during that time. A powwow today would be the modern equivalent of a city block party.
Tribes from the area were invited to attend. Huge feasts and games and singing and dancing occurred. A Powwow was as much a way to celebrate, as it was to bring the neighboring tribes together.
The Native Americans have always known the value of community. They also understand that in order to survive they must all work together to maximize what is available to them through nature.
In a sense the Powwow is a bonding experience, where everyone is equal and has a voice.
Native Americans believe in what is called the ”Circle of Life” there are no beginnings and no ends. We are born from our Mother Earth and we shall return to Mother Earth.
With this viewpoint Native Americans form a Powwow in a circular formation. There are drums, singers, dancers and also a main ringmaster that runs it all.
Today’s powwows are planned far in advance and in most cases the public is invited. Attending a Powwow is a wonderful for both you and your children to learn about Native American Indian culture.