(redirected from Pow woW)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Idioms, Wikipedia.
Enlarge picture
A member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians performs a dance at their reservation in Peshawbestown, Michigan. Pow-wows draw upon ancient traditions of tribal gatherings that feature dance, music, storytelling, and ceremonies. AP/Wide World Photos.


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Pow-wow is a North American Indian term with many meanings. It's difficult to translate directly into English because words represent thought patterns, and Indians traditionally thought quite differently from most Europeans.

Sometimes pow-wow means a holy person or shaman. Sometimes it refers to a tribal council. Often it refers to a ritual involving healing. Most often it refers to a celebration or ritual involving dance. The word conjures up community dancing, accompanied by the beat of drums and rattles and, usually, by singing rendered in the style modern musicologists have labeled "vocables," or ritualized chant.

Some of the customs practiced by Indian nations go back to antiquity and must be memorized exactly, so that an ancestor from a thousand years ago would know precisely what was going on. Many of the songs are said to have been taught by "First Man" or "First Woman."

Some pow-wows are held today for the benefit of tourists. Others are sacred religious services.

Europeans tend to sit in straight rows when they go to church. Indians dance. Europeans are used to being "preached at." Indians participate. Europeans are used to organ music. Indians prefer the throbbing of the drums.

I once asked an Ojibway elder how he was feeling. "Ninety-eight percent fine!" came the reply. "What would it take to fill in the last two percent?" I responded. "I'd have to hear the drums!" he said.

The Religion Book: Places, Prophets, Saints, and Seers © 2004 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
31-Sept 2 49th Annual Labor Day Weekend Pow Wow. 117 Rd, Sanbomton, NH.(603) 723-4982 silverbear699@aol.com http://lihanh.org
The only problem this weekend was that the battery was draining but the camera had no visible or audible indication it was doing so, and many photos taken during the Pow Wow parade turned out a bit blurry and unusable.
The Pow Wow Art Festival occurs every year during Valentine's day week in the Kaka'ako district of Honolulu and brings 100+ international and local artist together to create murals and other forms of art.
The band found its roots when Bear Witness and Ian Campeau realized their home city of Ottawa had dance nights that represented every culture there but their own, so deciding to, 'throw a party, ' was more than just for fun-these Electric Pow Wows were to portray their Aboriginal culture within urban centres where historically, its involvement has been erased Thus, the band has been involved in activism from its very origin.
That clearly was not the strongest of heats, but Pow Wow's ability shone through and doubtless made that price tag a little heavier.
For the first night of the Knowledge Is Pow Wow program Nicotine had Cree Elder Gary Moostoos and Donavan Shirt, an 18-year-old from the Frog Lake First Nation, as guest speakers.
"The US government is beginning to understand what so many other countries have understood for decades that travel is the front door to economic development and job growth." Jimmy Eichelgruen, director of sales for Africa, Middle East and Indian Subcontinent for Delta Air Lines, and chair of the International Pow Wow Selection Committee for Saudi Arabia & Bahrain, agreed.
"Akameyimoh Baby Boy" (56:35) is championship Pow Wow group Young Spirit's open celebration of Plains Cree culture.
This photo essay documents a Pow Wow, a ceremony that has been passed down from generation to generation and is still practiced today.
Travel AssociationOs 2010 International Pow Wow. SaveTime -- a pre-rental registration service for Alamo customers traveling into the U.S.
NORTH AMERICA'S LARGEST ABORIGINAL ARTS EVENT, the Canadian Aboriginal Festival and Pow Wow takes place annually in Toronto, this year on November 30th-December 2nd.