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Pow-wow Entertainment 

Folklore is expressive culture, including tales , music, dance, legends, oral history, proverbs, customs, and so forth within a particular population. The academic study of folklore is covered by ethnography and is sometimes called folkloristics. Every nation on earth has some sort of folklore. Turtle Island Native Nations all have different and very rich folklore.

In our time Turtle Island Native Nations have pow-wows where different Nations meet bringing their diverse folklore. In brief a pow-wow is typically, a gathering of Native and non-Native people in one area to dance, sing, socialize, and meet. Pow-wows can vary in length from a single session of about 5-6 hours to three days.

A pow-wow has a circle with an entrance to it and a drum space in the middle of the circle. People watching the pow-wow sit around the circle and participants enter the circle and move around the drum stepping to the drum beat. The feet do the movements and the hips and shoulders don't. (Europeans move hips and shoulders when they try to join in and go around the drum in the circle which is a mistake.) The participants are called pow-wow dancers though the stepping motions they are performing are without hip and shoulder swinging which is different from the classic idea of a dance. At the time of Rasulullah a group of Africans that accepted Islam chanted Lillahaillallah and motioned their feet and hands carrying weapons such as spears similar to what the male participants at a pow-wow do and call their dance. This concept of dance is different from the concept of ballet dancing or dancing at balls or in nightclubs.

The pow-wow participants compete dancing to the drum beat in male and female separate age categories. They wear decorated clothing from their cultures which they call their regalia. They usually make their own regalia or they have friends and relatives help them with regalia. The regalia reflects the participant's cultural background and expressions from personal experiences where each color and design carries a meaning.

The pow-wow is a fun event and not a ceremonial event in any way. However many of the etiquettes of the pow-wow and things done at pow-wows have sources in ceremonies. On pow-wows traditional male dancers may make moves that reenact stories from hunts and other events that took place. This is true for other cultures as well. In Indochina there are traditional dances that are reenactments of mythological stories. In these traditional Indochinese the dancers are believed to be joined with spirits of the characters portrayed in the reenactment dance. In Mayan cultures there are plays like the Rabina Achi play about a Quiche warrior who is captured and granted a few wishes among which is his wish to visit his home after which he returns to his captors and is executed in an honorable way. The traditional Mayans that are involved with plays like the Rabina Achi believe that their ancestral spirits join them during the performance of the play. In many Siberian indigenous cultures the Medicine man shows his journey in his trance state as an act. For example if he visions meeting a horse spirit, he will motion in ways that portray a horse. The same is in Inut culture, if the Medicine man visions a walrus spirit, he will motion in ways that resemble a walrus. Pow-wows are purely for entertainment as social events, unlike ceremonies where performers believe that spirits join them during their performance.

  

 

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