Published on October 26, 2011 by Amy
A Native American pow wow is a gathering of a tribe, whether it be social, a congress, or a meeting. Recently, a Native American pow wow came to mean a meeting between Native Americans and non-Native Americans which would include dancing, singing, and socializing. A Native American pow wow can vary in length from hours to days. Major pow wows usually last about a week long.
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Pow wows are not sudden events. Planning a pow wow may take months or even a year in time. There are many people involved in the planning of a Native American pow wow. Usually there is a sponsor of the pow wow. This may be an Indian tribe, a local college, or an organization. From that, a committee is formed to designate certain positions.
The arena director is in charge of the Native American pow wow while the head staff serve under him to actually run the actual event. The arena director makes sure that things run smoothly, such as the dancers knowing the routines and assigning the judges to any contests. The master of ceremonies is the voice of the pow wow, keeping everything running smoothly in front of the public. There are head dancers that are responsible for leading the other dancers in both dance and an entry parade to begin the Native American pow wow. The host drum is the group that provides music for the dancers.
Native American pow wows are usually set up in a series of circles, with the large center circle being known as the dance arena. The dance arena is also where the master of ceremony has his table as well as where the drum groups sit. Outside the dance arena are circles used as a sitting area for spectators and an area for booths for vendors selling food or arts and crafts.