Pow Wow History
The Pow Wow is a celebration of traditions, which actually began at White Eagle, Oklahoma around 1877. It was a celebration after the removal of the Indian-to-Indian Territory. A celebration of arrival after the hardships of the journey and so many had died along the road to Oklahoma.
The word "pow wow" derives from the Algonquin term for a gathering of medicine men and spiritual leaders in a curing ceremony, "pauau" or "pau wau." Historically, all tribes held ceremonies or get-togethers to celebrate gathering, warfare, song, dance, visit and feast. These ceremonies allowed people to give thanks, honor their deceased relatives, or give special honors, such as name-giving ceremonies and coming-of-age rite. Many times they were held to renew allegiances and maintain friendships with members of visiting tribes.
During the pow wow, wisdom passes from the elders to the children. To Native American people, the elders and children are most important. Both the young, who are just beginning their journey through life, and the elders, who are near the completion of their journey, share closeness to the Creator. To those who have newly arrived and those who will soon leave it, the work is especially beautiful.