Pow Wow: The Grand Entry

We recently attended a Pow Wow, before taking any photographs we asked permission. Photographs are permitted, except during the Pipe Ceremony. A friend of ours is the Spiritual Leader of this Tribe. He smokes the pipe to begin the Pow Wow. He said the pipe had regular tobacco in it.. and maybe it did. It smelled pretty good to me. Anyway he puffs on the pipe and presents it first to the East saying something. I am close to him..within 15 feet and I still cannot hear what he says. He puffs and faces south then west and north. Then he puffs alot and holds the pipe to the sky and then puffs some more and presents it to the ground. Then as quietly as it started the ceremony is over. Tobacco is taken in a shell shaped dish to all the people that are going to be in the grand entry. The Grand Entry begins.

The Eagle Staffs and the Flags.


The Royalty came next.  The Lady in the scooter is the Forever Princess, I was a tad concerned about her, at one point she buzzed her scooter up next to me, she was smoking a cigarette and she was on oxygen..I  was a bit nervous.

The Dancers..first the men..

Then the older women and women with small children. They  encircle the entire group..dancing on the outer edges of the dancing circle.

Younger Dancers join in when the Flags and Eagle Staffs have made the first circle.

A Pow Wow is a Native American gathering to dance, sing and visit. The Pow Wow grounds is made up of circles, the first circle in the middle is the circular shelter that shields the drum and the drummers from rain and the sun. Then there is the dancing circle, then the spectator circle, a covered area where you can sit. The circle beyond this is a walkway that is circled with tents and trailers, you can purchase bead work, jewelry, T shirts, fry bread, french fries, shaved ice, hamburgers, hot dogs..and yes even cheese curds!

Cheese curds are hunks of cheese covered in a batter that are deep fried..all melty and yummy!
This shopping/eating circle is surrounded by a parking circle, that is in turn surrounded by a camping circle with tents and RVs and campfires. Many people camp out at the Pow Wow grounds the entire weekend. Far Guy and I live about 8 miles away from the Reservation so we went for part of the afternoon..then we went back again in the evening for the Grand Entry. I had a blast taking photographs! :)


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3 Responses to Pow Wow: The Grand Entry

  1. PrairieWoman says:

    I believe these are the very same guys who opened at Pangaea – Cultivate Our Cultures, not last year but the year before. They are a great bunch of guys. We asked the Honor Guard because the next day was Veterans Day.

    I missed all the Pow Wows this year including the one back home. I am a very jealous PrairieWoman.

  2. TechnoBabe says:

    These are great pictures and a wonderful post. Lucky you to be able to attend.

  3. homd says:

    I don’t know who told me about pow wows, but they told me that if an eagle feather hits the ground, there’s a special ceremony to “restore” it… and I was also told never to compliment any Native American on anything that was theirs, because they might feel obligated to give it to me. I don’t know if these things are still observed.

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