Office of Diversity and Inclusion - a Division of Student Affairs at the University of Central Oklahoma

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 What is a Pow Wow?

Powwows are the Native American people's social gatherings, a place where people join together, in dancing, singing, and visiting. It is a time of renewing old friendships and make new ones. This is a time to renew thoughts of the old ways and to preserve a rich heritage. It is a way to share this rich heritage and culture with outsiders.

Powwow Components 

Grand Entry- This is the entry of all the people entering the dance arena or the sacred circle. During the Grand Entry, everyone is asked to stand as the flags are brought into the circle. 
Following the veterans are other important guests of the Pow Wow-   including tribal chiefs, Princesses, elders, and Pow Wow organizers. Next in line are the men dancers. The men are followed by the women dancers. Once everyone is in the arena, the song ends and a song to honor the flag and the veterans is sung. During Grand Entry and the Veterans honor song it is important to native culture that NO PICTURES, VIDEOS, or AUDIO recordings take place.

Dancing- has always been an important aspect in the lives of the Native American culture. The regalia worn by the dancers represent important aspect of the dancer's culture, heritage, and involvement in their culture.

Type of Dances: 

Men's Styles 
Southern Straight Dance - The Southern Straight Dance is the formal  Southern dance style, tracing its roots to the original formal war dance.

Fancy Dance - The Fancy Dance is the style of dance that contains the most color and movement. It was created on the reservations to attract visitors.


Traditional Dance - The Traditional Dance is one of the most common styles seen at powwows and is considered the warrior's dance style.

Grass Dance - A popular dance that is full of color and movement, the grass dance originated from the original Omaha Grass Dance.

Gourd Dancing - This dance is not a true powwow dance style but a separate type of dance before the Grand Entry. During the Gourd Dancing only the Gourd Dancers, their relatives, and relatives of Veterans should be in the Pow Wow arena.

Women's Dance Styles
Traditional Buckskin - The Buckskin style of dance is very graceful and has some of the most elegant bead and craftwork of any style.

Southern Cloth - The Southern Cloth style of dance is much like  Southern Buckskin, but the beautiful outfits are made with fine cloths and ribbon work.

Jingle Dress Dance - The Jingle Dance is a very interesting and unique dance that was delivered through a vision many years ago, and has  become popular all across the continent.

Fancy Shawl Dance- The Fancy Shawl Dance is the most exciting of the ladies' dance styles to watch, due to its many intricate movements and steps.

Singers
Singers are one of the vital figures in the Native American culture. Without them there would be no dancing.

Drummers
Drummers are the heartbeat of the Pow Wow. Without a drum a powwow cannot exist in most cases.

The Master of Ceremonies or MC
This is the person who is in charge of running the Pow Wow. The MC runs the events, controlling the tempo and offering smooth transitions between dances, drumming, storytelling, and the other entertainers.

 Pow Wow Etiquette 



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