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TeePees  Gathering of Nations PowWow
April 24-25, 2015
University of New Mexico Arena "The Pit"
Avenida Cesar Chavez Blvd. SE (Hwy. 25, exit #223)

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
PowWows Etiquette... What to Expect
Page Updated: June 01, 2014 06:54 PM
   Powwows are celebrations, social gatherings and friendly dance competitions. But, as with the sacred thread that runs through all of life, there are sacred traditions to be found in this coming together of people.
   There is a circle in most dances, representing the circle of unity, the cycle of life. Dancers often follow the clockwise pattern of the sun.
   Some of the regalia and/or ornaments signify special events or honors in a person's life, special religious traditions or symbols rooted in legend.
   For a brief description of dances one might see at a powwow, please visit our Learn About Powwow Dancers Section. No matter which dance or performance you see you are sure to be entertained and enlightened. Enjoy the powwow!
   Everyone is welcome at most contest powwows, regardless of tribe - non-Indians too.
   For newcomers to these colorful events, a bit of explanation may enhance the enjoyment and understanding.
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PowWow Tips

Bullet  When the eagle staff is brought in during the grand entry, everyone MUST stands and Hats are removed in respect.

Bullet  That same respect is shown should an eagle feather fall during the dancing. Everything must stop until a proper returning of the feather has been performed, there is NO VIDEO RECORDING OR PHOTOS during the retrieval of a fallen eagle feather.

Bullet  Pay extra attention to the Master of Ceremonies (MC), various announcements and Etiquette is announced about the event and type of dances.

Bullet  DO NOT TOUCH the dancers Eagle Feathers, Bustles, Plumes or Fans.
Bullet  Pointing with a finger, particularly the index finger, is considered impolite. It's best to indicate a person or direction by pursing the lips and pointing with the eyes or to nod in the direction. For the Lakota, indicating with a thumb or little finger, while not preferred, would still be more polite than the index finger, but never toward a person.
Bullet  DO NOT bother the performers or stand in front of those preparing to dance or those singing.
Bullet  DO NOT bring Strollers are discouraged as they are not allowed in the seating area, and there is no place to park them.

Bullet  Security, UNM, or the Gathering of Nations will not be responsible for them if stolen or lost.
Bullet  Photos and Video Recording IS ALLOWED, make sure to bring extra batteries. There will be some occassions where you cannot take photography or videos, this will be announced by the Master of Ceremonies (MC).

Bullet  Please ask permission before snapping an individual's photograph outside the dance area, for this is private time. Some powwows are more restrictive than others in terms of photographing the event.

Bullet  Don't touch any regalia outfits (NEVER refer to them as costumes).

Bullet  Ornaments have special meanings and many of the handmade outfits cost thousands of dollars, and are cherished and sometimes are made by a respected family member. Frequently they are heirlooms and may be delicate.
Bullet  Feel free to join in the inter-tribal dances by invitation of the Master of Ceremonies (MC).
Bullet  Dances are either for men or women and competitions generally are divided by age categories.
Bullet  In order to encourage and reward children, every dancer younger than about 5 years old receives some award of at least a dollar or two. This removes the aspect of competition, letting them just enjoy participation.

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