First thing to remember when attending a Native American Powwow or Gathering of the Nations is that the sacred circle is just that. Do not go into the circle unless you are invited. The circle is where they actually have the ceremony which attendees will watch.
The circle is a symbol of life. You only enter through one way and exit through the same way. The entrance is distinctive as it is built like an arch. The circle is formed by ropes.
It is said that everything a Native American does is done in a circle. The sacred circle represents the earth.
There are similarities in Powwows but differences according to the tribes. These Powwows are also called the Gathering of the Nations. There may be several tribes that gather together, but one particular tribe who plans the event.
The costumes of Native Americans are extravagant and wonderfully detailed. There are a lot of natural items on these costumes like feathers, deer tail hair, nuts, and even turtle shells. The women dress less elaborate then the men. The Native American men will have beautiful headdresses and large beautiful feathers on their costumes.
The women wear dresses, some are plain but some are more
decorated. The details, though even on some of the dresses are very
extraordinary. There are even stories from long ago attached to accents on
their costumes. For instance, in one tribe, we noticed a Native American woman
wearing a turtle shell attached to the back of her dress. We asked her about
it. She told us a beautiful story about a Sea turtle that saved one of their
ancestors long ago. They believed the earth was completely water long ago and
there was a Native American chief and his wife who was pregnant. They lived in
the clouds. There was a big tree with huge branches in the clouds. The chief's
wife lost her balance one day and fell out of the sky to the earth. With her
she took a tree branch which she grabbed to catch her footing. She sank to the
bottom but grabbed some sand from the bottom and swam to the surface. The sea turtle saved her, of course, and she
scattered the sand and seeds ( from the tree branch) around him and he held up
the land that became of it. Thus
There is ceremonial dancing that takes place and sometimes
Native Americans even invite the attendees to join. This is the dance that all
tribes join in. There may also be a particular group that dances as a whole
with incense, and this can be construed as a performance but is very
traditional. There are myths and tribal beliefs that surround these dances that
each tribe believes. Sometimes there are larger Powwow events that are more
like a festival. These events have many more activities such as singing, more
dancing, face painting, and arts of the Native Americans.
Among these things, it has much more authentic food to choose from.
If you're looking for something exciting to do on the weekend which is different than you usually do, try finding a Native American Gathering near you.