WLM Summer 2019 - Page 13

WLM | arts Powwows POWWOW ETIQUETTE by Wind River Country, windriver.org Remember that at each powwow you visit, things can and will be slightly different based on unique tribal customs. Be respectful of the uniqueness of each tribe. 1. If taking pictures, remember common courtesy and ask permission from the dancer first or ask them after the dance is over. Feel free to introduce yourself. It is usually all right to take group photographs. 2. Take a lawn chair. Most powwows will not have seating for the public or enough seating for everyone. 3. Arena benches are reserved for dancers and their families. Dancers will reserve a space on the bench by placing a blanket in that space before the powwow. Please do not sit on someone else’s blanket unless invited. Uncovered benches are considered unreserved. 4. Be aware that someone behind you may not be able to see over you. Make room, step aside, sit or kneel if someone is behind you. 5. Listen to the Master of Ceremonies. He will announce the types of dances they will be conducting. Dances are often separated by gender, and vary from traditional to contemporary dances. 6. There are designated leaders who help conduct a powwow, such as the Master of Ceremonies, Arena Director, Head Singer, Head Man Dancer and Head Woman Dancer. If at any time you are uncertain of procedure or etiquette, please check with the Master of Ceremonies, Arena Director or Head Singer. They will be glad to help you with your questions. 7. Show respect to the flag and honor songs by standing during “Special” songs. Spectators should stand quietly until the song is completed. 8. Each dancers’ ensemble is unique to them and is called regalia. Please do not touch their regalia without asking first. 9. The Flag Song, or Indian National Anthem, is sung when the American Flag is raised or lowered. Please stand and remove hats during the singing of this song. It is not a song for dancing. www.wyolifestyle.com 11