GNAA'S 46TH ANNUAL POW WOW
September 15-17, 2023
Greensboro Country Park
3802 Jaycee Park Dr.
Greensboro, NC 27455
Pow Wows are the Native American people’s way of meeting together, to join in dancing, singing, visiting, eating traditional food, renewing old friendships, and making new ones.
Come join us for GNAA’s Annual Pow Wow as hundreds of Native American dancers from varying tribes across the country gather at Greensboro Country Park to celebrate their rich history and culture.
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POW WOW 101
Here are a few simple guidelines to help you get the most out of your visit:
Everyone is Welcome: Pow Wows are open to the public! People from every background are welcomed to attend the celebration of a Pow Wow. You don’t have to be Native American to attend.
The circle is sacred and has been blessed before any of the activities begin. Do not enter the arena if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs and do not allow pets or children to play inside the arena.
Be respectful of the dancers and singers and their regalia. It’s not polite to call their colorful native dress “costumes.” These pieces of clothing are handmade and can take many months to create. Some are even family heirlooms, having been passed down from several generations. These are not entertainers, but rather members of a Native American community, who are celebrating their cultural heritage with others.
Pow Wows are not something Natives do as a hobby. This is a way of life and part of the culture.
Photos and Videos: Many singers and dancers will allow you to take photographs with them. However, it’s best if you ask first. Don’t assume that you can record or take pictures during the Pow Wow and ask before you do it. Listen to the Emcee for when recordings are not allowed.
Reserved Seats: The benches/seats in the arena are reserved for the dancers. Please don’t walk or run between the drum and any chairs surrounding it.
Listen to the MC: He will guide you through the event with informative details and entertainment. During special songs such as the Grand Entry, Veterans Sons, Flag Songs and any other songs designated by the MC, please remove your hat and please stand.
Children: Pow Wows are family events and children are more than welcomed. Please go over Pow Wow etiquette with children old enough to understand. Have smaller children be mindful of the event, too. Children are more than welcome to join in on some of the dances. However, there are times when they shouldn’t join the arena since some dances are a competition between dancers.
Dancing: Pow Wows sometimes feature an “Inter-tribal” dance that follows the Grand Entry. This is a special dance that invites all to join in and dance together inside the arena circle. You may choose to join in despite not wearing any regalia. However, if you do decide to join the dance, always walk with the beat and be considerate of those around you. If you’re not sure of how to dance, simply watch how other women and men of your age are dancing for guidance. Enter the arena with respect. Conduct yourself in a reserved manner.
NATIVE AMERICAN DANCE STYLES
WOMEN'S JINGLE DRESS DANCE
The dancer's flowing steps cause the metal cones adorning her dress to jingle. The cones are often made from the lids of snuff cans.
All Pow Wows begin with a Grand Entry. This is when all dancers enter the circle and are led by the Veterans and Head Dancers. An opening prayer is also said. During this time, please stand up, refrain from talking or eating.
The head staff of a Pow Wow are the people who run the event on the day or days it actually occurs.
Arena Director: The person in charge during the pow-wow.
Master of Ceremonies: The voice of the Pow Wow. It is his job to keep the singers, dancers, and general public informed as to what is happening.
Host Drum and Drum Groups: A drum group primarily responsible for providing music for the dancers to dance to. Each drum has a Lead Singer who runs his or her drum and leads the singers while singing. Host drums are responsible for singing the songs at the beginning and end of a Pow Wow session, generally a starting song, the grand entry song, a flag song, and a veterans or victory song to start the Pow Wow, and a flag song, retreat song and closing song to end the Pow Wow.
Head Dancers: Lead the other dancers in the grand entry or parade of dancers that opens a Pow Wow. There is a Head Man Dancer and a Head Woman Dancer