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1. a magical ceremony of certain North American Indians, usually accompanied by feasting and dancing
2. (among certain North American Indians) a medicine man
3. a meeting of or negotiation with North American Indians


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Term for a wise man or woman in Pennsylvania Dutch country and in the Ozarks (where they are also known as "Power Doctors"). The term is also used for the folk magic performed by these people. The appellation derives from the early settlers' observations of Native American powwows. Guiley suggests that the early settlers learned about healing herbs and roots from the Native Americans, who also employed charms and incantations in their healing work.

A powwow, or powwower, is in many ways similar to a Hedge Witch, although most of the former profess to be staunch Christians. Followers seek them out for anything from removing warts or tracing lost property to dispelling curses and curing major diseases. Powwowers are often proficient astrologers and are knowledgeable about herbs and their uses. Many have claimed to be the seventh child of a seventh child. Such a person is believed to have inherent psychic and magical powers.

As in Wicca, a male powwower is trained by a female, and vice versa. Often, they exhibit healing proclivities at a very early age. Hohman's book presents another parallel to Wicca, through its insistence that the contents are intended for healing, not harming. Hohman himself was a powwower, living near Reading, Pennsylvania, in the early 1800s.

While Powwowers generally do not receive money for their services, they do accept goods and services as payment.

References in periodicals archive ?
The authors seamlessly incorporate Native American history and establish the context for the stories that play out in and around the powwow.
His rich descriptions bring powwows to life for readers and shed light on the esoteric protocols and judging criteria that even seasoned powwow spectators may not have grasped.
Lynn Anderson attends powwows to observe and learn more about her untraced partial Native American ancestry.
Reservation-based casinos brought a hitherto unimaginable amount of capital into tribal possession, and many of the tribes that benefited from the loophole in federal gaming laws saw fit to use a portion of this to sponsor large powwows with cash prizes for dancers and singers.
Pour lui, la relation entre les enregistrements powwows en studio et la pratique << traditionnelle >> de cette musique serait bien plus complexe : << la force culturellement significative de la tradition est creee au sein, et est d'ailleurs entierement dependante, des conditions structurelles de la modernite >> (261).
Drawing on field research at powwows primarily in the region of southern Ontario, this essay examines gender role divisions and modes of participation at contemporary powwows to illustrate the different experiences and roles that women and men have at these public events, differences that may be considered complementary and that characterize much of the discourse about "traditional" gender relations, roles, and expectations in First Nations cultures.
They attend powwows and flute shows with their instruments, she said, although this was the first time they'd been to the LCC powwow.
She studied dance at the School of the Hartford Ballet, Connecticut College, and SUNY Purchase, but grew up attending powwows and learned native dance from observing others.
Lisa Eagles says everyone is welcome at their traditional powwow and all nations gathering, celebrating its 10th annual run this summer, but a lot of people still don't know about it.
He stated to me during our discussion that the powwow of today was different than the traditional powwows.
The following lesson (pages 6-9), "Everything the Indian Does Is In a Circle," is a version of one of eleven lessons in a unit of study about powwows and American Indian culture that I helped develop for middle school students in the Denver Public Schools.