Pow Wow Etiquette

  1. Be on time.  The committee is doing everything possible to ensure that activities begin and run smoothly. Please cooperate in this regard.
  2. Appropriate dress and behavior is required in the arena.  Anyone unwilling to abide by this rule will be asked to leave by the Arena Director.  If you are going to dance anything other than open intertribal, wear your regalia.
  3. 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.
  4. The seating around the Arena is reserved for dancers in regalia. Seats with blankets, shawls or regalia on them are taken.  Please do not sit on someone else’s blanket unless invited.  Uncovered seats or benches are considered unreserved.
  5. NO PETS are allowed in or near the Arena, the Arena is a sacred place from the time it is blessed until the Pow Wow is over.  At no time throughout the Pow Wow will pets be allowed in the Arena.
  6. The Master of Ceremonies will provide everyone with instructions, rules and announcements during the Pow Wow.  The MC will also remind everyone when it is OK to enter into the arena.  The MC will also announce who is to dance and when.
  7. NO PICTURES or video during Veteran Songs, Flag Songs, Prayers, or any other time announced by MC. Please stand and remove your hats during the singing of these songs and prayers.
  8. The Dancers who do not want pictures taken have a sticker that says “NO PICTURES” on their Pow Wow number, please respect that and do not take pictures of them.
  9. If you want a dancer to pose for you outside the circle, please ask permission first.  You must inform the dancer if you are a professional photographer and must get permission if you plan on using the photograph in a future project.  It is also nice to offer to send the dancer copies.
  10. Giveaways express generosity and reciprocity, when receiving a gift the recipient thanks everyone involved in the giving.
  11. Before sitting at a drum, ask permission from head singer.  Do not touch drum without permission.
  12. If at any time you are uncertain with the procedure please check with MC or Arena Director.  If you have a question please ask an adult dancer, singers, drummers, volunteers and elders.  Offer a cold drink or other small, symbolic gift to those who help you.
  13. There is zero tolerance for drugs or alcohol.
  14. If you see a lost feather, or you yourself drop a feather, DO NOT pick it up.  Notify the nearest Veteran, Arena Director, or Stickman immediately.
  15.  No one should walk across the circle during the event.