This weekend the Paiute Indian Tribe will be hosting the 32nd Annual Paiute Restoration Gathering and Pow Wow. Come check it out.
When: June 8th & 9th
Where:440 North Paiute Drive, Cedar City UT 84721
The Pow-Wow is the Indian way of celebrating life and heritage. To the observer, this appears as entertainment or theatrics. Besides singing and dancing, the Pow-Wow is to renew old friendships and to form new ones.
At many Pow Wows there is a Northern Drum and a Southern Drum. There is no limit on drum groups to participate and each drum group comes to participate and compete against each other.
The Dance Arena
The Dance Arena or Arbor can be any open ground large enough to accommodate all participants and observers. The arena has a speaker’s platform where the Master of Ceremonies (MC) sits. The MC has the job of keeping all of the participants and the audience informed of the activities of the day and also the appropriate times when recording and pictures are not to be taken. The audience’s cooperation is well-appreciated at these times. The observers may sit in the surrounding area. Once the dancing has started, the dance area has been “consecrated” for the duration of the Pow-Wow and organized activities may be conducted within the dance arena. Running through the arena at random or children playing in the dance area is prohibited. The arena director has the obligation of maintaning the sanctity of the arena during the Pow-Wow.
The appropriate term for Naitive Clothing is “Regalia.” All dancers should be dressed in proper attire according to which category they are competing in. There are many different types of dancers. The Fancy Dancers are the most vigorous. The Men Fancy Dancers wear bustles, either one or two, and they have very colorful feathers. Women Fancy Shawl Dancers have very beautiful colored shawls with fringe and beautifully beaded and non-beaded capes. The Grass Dancers have outfits made of yarn, which depicts the swaying of grass. Jingle Dress Dancers have dresses made of seven rows of cones depicting seven stages of life. The most respected dancers of all of them are the Traditional Dancers, both men and women. They dance with grace and pride. It is most respectful of the observers to stand while the Traditional Dancers have their exhibition. The removal of hats is also appropriate.
General Pow-Wow Procedure
The Head man and Head Lady Dancers are selected by the Paiute Activities Committee before the Pow-Wow. It is an honor to be selected as one of the Head Dancers. They are the first to begin dancing on each song. Everyone waits in respect for the head men and head women to begin.
The Grand Entry
The audience is requested to stand while the flags are presented and until all the dancers enter the Pow-Wow arena.
All are to stand while one of the Tribal Elders says a prayer.
This is a social form of traditional dance. Dancers are not competing with each other but are cementing old friendships and are making new ones. Anyone can participate in this dance.
Sometimes an individual or a family will request time to have a “giveaway.” This is done out of grattitude or to pay social honor to an individual. It is the gesture, not the gift, that is important. This procedure usually takes some time, patience, and courtesy.