Cover image for Powwow : A Celebration Through Song and Dance
Powwow : A Celebration Through Song and Dance
Physical Description:
81 p. ;
Reading Level:
1170 L Lexile

On Order

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★ "Clearly organized and educational--an incredibly useful tool for both school and public libraries." -- School Library Journal , starred review

Powwow is a celebration of Indigenous song and dance. Journey through the history of powwow culture in North America, from its origins to the thriving powwow culture of today. As a lifelong competitive powwow dancer, Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane is a guide to the protocols, regalia, songs, dances and even food you can find at powwows from coast to coast, as well as the important role they play in Indigenous culture and reconciliation.

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5 Up--Pheasant-Neganigwane, a lifelong Anishinaabe competitive powwow dancer and educator, summarizes the basics of powwow culture through a series of sections highlighting its origins, current elements, songs and dances, and regional differences across Canada and the United States. The author clearly explains the origins of the powwow within colonization, as well as its evolution and growing popularity. Sidebars describe different elements of the powwow, supplementing the main text, while other pullout sections provide directions for popular First Nations recipes. A range of high-quality, black-and-white photographs from different powwows also supplement the text. A glossary and an index are included in the back matter. The book is clearly organized and educational--an incredibly useful tool for both school and public libraries. Readers will enjoy learning about current powwows as well as their rich history within Indigenous culture. VERDICT This comprehensive primer of the history and importance of the powwow in North American Indigenous culture is a necessary purchase.--Kelsey Socha, Springfield City Library, MA

Kirkus Review

The modern powwow has been uniting Indigenous peoples in joyous celebration of culture for decades, but its roots are far older.Anishninaabe author and educator Pheasant-Neganigwane has crafted a narrative that tells the history of the powwow, a celebration of Indigenous culture that occurs throughout North America. She describes the history of colonization and Indigenous resistance that culminated in the 19th centurya time when song and dance gatherings also were restricted by both the governments of Canada and the U.S. Holding steadfast to traditional culture and expressing it in the unlikeliest of placesthe so-called "wild west shows" and harvest fairsIndigenous peoples gradually developed these gatherings of song and dance into what are now vibrant celebrations that occur across the continent all year long. The powwow includes many aspects of Indigenous culture: rodeos, fashion shows, and even music awards. The gallery of photos throughout the book gives readers seats at a powwow, an event that is described as a continual space to restore kinship and preserve Indigenous identity. Weaving her own powwow experiences into her narrative, the author describes the formal elements of a powwow as well as regional variations. Sidebars look at related topics such as fry bread and victory songs, and the book ends with a brief primer of powwow etiquette and glossary of cultural vocabulary.An enriching, information-rich resource that centers an Indigenous perspective. (resources) (Nonfiction. 8-14) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Pheasant-Neganigwane introduces readers to powwows, public celebrations of Indigenous songs and dances, by recounting some personal experiences as a powwow dancer. She then explains that these events developed in the late 1800s, specifically in response to North American colonialism and repressive laws, and describes today's powwow culture (including parades, foods, competitions, and giveaways), songs and dances (specific steps for men, women, and children, as well as drumming protocols), and regional differences. Chapters are divided into short, manageable sections, headlined for easy reference. The book is generously illustrated with captioned, crisp-edged images, including both stock and personal photographs. Numerous sidebars provide pullout quotes, powwow facts, recipes, and personal accounts. Throughout, Pheasant-Neganigwane stresses the importance of these celebrations as a means of passing on cultural traditions, healing family dysfunction resulting from Indian residential schools and discriminatory laws, and instilling a sense of pride in the heritage of these nations. Attractive, informative, and essential for diverse collections.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Chapter 1 Origins of Powwow Culture
Colonizationp. 10
The Indian Act and the Pass Systemp. 11
The Wild West Showsp. 15
Fall Fairsp. 18
A Growing Powwow Culturep. 21
Banned No Longerp. 21
Twelve Months a Yearp. 22
My Father's Storyp. 25
Chapter 2 What Is Powwow Culture?
The Powwow Groundsp. 30
The Emceep. 31
The Grand Entryp. 32
Competitionp. 34
The Giveawayp. 36
Storiesp. 37
Restoring Kinshipp. 38
Chapter 3 Powwow Songs and Dances
Drumsp. 42
The Drump. 43
Dance Categories and Stylesp. 44
Men's Traditional Dancep. 45
Men's Fancy Dancep. 47
Men's Grass Dancep. 48
Women's Traditional Dancep. 49
Women's Fancy Shawl Dancep. 50
Women's Jingle Dress Dancep. 52
Intertribal and Social Dancesp. 54
My Drum Storyp. 56
Chapter 4 Powwows from Coast to Coast
Central Canadap. 60
The Canadian Prairiesp. 62
The American Northern Plainsp. 65
The Pacific Northwestp. 66
The Southwestp. 67
The Eastp. 69
The Midwestp. 70
Attending a Powwowp. 70
A Final Word from the Authorp. 72
Glossaryp. 74
Resourcesp. 76
Indexp. 78
Acknowledgmentsp. 81