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Powwow Etiquette: Text
Powwow Etiquette

Everyone is welcome to attend a Powwow. It is a wonderful way to learn more about Native American culture and tribal traditions. Powwows are social events, a time to see old friends, make new acquaintances, listen, dance, and sing to the heartbeat of the drum, enjoy the taste of freshly prepared frybread, and especially to share our tribal heritage with the community. Don't be afraid to ask questions and engage in conversation with vendors, dancers, singers, and other powwow participants. Many of our tribal elders in the community will sit around the arena circle and will have many stories to share and are full of knowledge of the "old ways."

For those of you attending your first powwow, here are some rules and guidelines to make it more enjoyable:


  • Be considerate: Some people do not wish to be photographed or video taped. Consider the privacy of the individual, and ask permission before you record them on film or tape. This includes spectators and crafts people as well as dancers and singers.

  • Be courteous: If you intend to use your photography for commercial purposes please inform the individual. Be sure to get a signed release and offer the subject a copy of your work or contact information.

  • Be polite: Do not block the view of other spectators and pay attention to the announcers references to Powwow Etiquette and protocol.

  • Be respectful: Do not enter the dance arena to film or photograph.

  • Show respect to the Elders, Dancers, and Drummers by giving them priority in line at restrooms, food line, etc. The drum represents the heartbeat of our people, please do not enter the drum tent/circle unless you are invited.

  • Chairs/benches placed around the dance arena are reserved for dancers. There is a reserved tent for the elders to sit. Please feel free to bring your own chairs, blankets, or mats to sit on, also an umbrella and sunscreen for the sun, Everyone wants to see, so be careful not to block the view of those behind you!

  • Powwow committee is not responsible for accidents, theft, and/or injury.

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