"The Pow Wow Trail" by Julia White

Finding Pow Wows

How do you find a Pow Wow? Most large colleges and universities have either a Native American Studies Department, or a Native American Club on campus. These are excellent sources of information for they usually receive flyers and bulletins about Pow Wows in their area.

There are national and regional Pow Wow Calendars which are published independently. Native newspapers and magazines usually publish Pow Wow schedules. The Web and Native newsgroups are also sources of information on Pow Wows, and if you don't see anything near you, post the question. Everyone on the network will be happy to give you information.

Sometimes Pow Wows are advertised in main stream newspapers, but not often. Pow Wows are very expensive to put on since the grounds are usually rented, insurance is a must, and the Pow Wow officials, head dancers and host drums must be paid. All of this is in addition to the prize money awarded to the winning dancers in each category. Advertising is viewed as an unnecessary added expense for most. However, the public relations person at any newspaper should have information on hand for the area of its readership.

If you want to catch a Pow Wow while on vacation, call the Travel and Tourism Bureau in the State Capitol of each state you'll be passing through, and check the Internet sources mentioned above. Almost every state, without exception, has at least one major Pow Wow during the year.

A complete listing of Pow Wows and gatherings in the U.S. and Canada could, and does, fill a book. I highly recommend the annual Pow Wow Calendar as the most complete guidebook to Native events available. Call 1-800-695-2241 for information.

Once you find your first Pow Wow, you're home free. Flyers are always at the announcer's booth, and in many vendor booths. However, no matter where you get Pow Wow scheduling information, be sure to verify the dates and locations before making the trip. Many things can happen to cause a Pow Wow to change its location and/or dates, so be wise and make sure your information is still accurate.

Decide what type of Pow Wow you want to see before you make the call. If you want to visit a traditional gathering that does not have competition, or prefer to experience the excitement of competition dancing, both are available. When you call to confirm dates, location, camping, etc., ask if it is a competition event or not. No one will mind the questions.

  • "The Pow Wow Trail"

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