Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Pow Wow - 2

Pow Wow Etiquette

 If you have never been to a Pow Wow, here are a few rules that may help you feel more at home.

1)  Dress and act appropriately.  Pets should be left at home.  The Arena is a sacred place from the time it is blessed until the Pow Wow is over.

2)  Pointing with the fingers is considered poor manners by some nations.  If you must point, use your head and nod in the direction you wish to indicate.

3)  The seating around the Arena is reserved for dancers in regalia.  Seats with blankets, shawls or regalia items on them are taken and should not be bothered.  Do NOT sit on someone else's blanket unless invited.  Uncovered seats are considered available.
 4)  Pictures should NOT be taken during Veterans Songs, Flag Songs, Prayers or any other time announced by the Master of Ceremonies.  If you wish to photograph a dancer in regalia, ask first.  If the picture is for publication or commercial use, that should be explained before the picture is taken.

6)  The Flag Song, or Indian National Anthem, is sung when the American Flag is raised or lowered.  Please stand and remove hats during the singing of this song.   It is not a song for dancing.  Pictures are not allowed during these songs.

7)  Certain items of religious significance should be worn only by those qualified to do so.  Respect the traditions.  Never intentionally touch another dancers regalia, person or property without permission.

8)  Unless you are sure spectator seating will be provided, bring a chair.   Remember that the seating immediately around the Arena is for dancers only.

9)  Alcohol, recreational drugs and firearms are prohibited at most Pow Wows.

10)  If you see a lost feather, or you yourself drop a feather, do NOT pick it up.   Notify the nearest Veteran, the Head Veteran, Head Man Dancer or Arena Director immediately.

11)  In some places it is OK for adults to dance while carrying infants or small children.  In other places this is considered contrary to local etiquette.  Ask before doing so.

12)  If you have a question, ask.  Most dancers, singers, elders and staff are happy to help.  Offer a cold drink or other small, symbolic gift to those who help you.

No comments:

Post a Comment