Courtesy Danielle Ta’Sheena Finn
Danielle Ta'Sheena Finn, says one of the truest indicators of a pow wow is when the MC shouts HOKA!

10 Ways to Tell: You KNOW You're At a Pow Wow When …

Vincent Schilling

Come on springtime! Ahh the sound of bells and jingles are resonating through the air and the drummers are beginning their warm ups. If the air is damp, you might see hair dryers underneath the blankets trying to tighten up the drum skin or perhaps the head dancer is sending a text to his wife to bring his roach he left in the car.

These are but a few indications that Pow wow season is in full force! We know everyone is reminded in different ways, so we thought we’d ask our readers what ways they might say: You KNOW you are at a Powwow when…

The handicap bathroom stall becomes a dressing room

Are you kidding? With all that extra space in that stall? And the convenient bars and hooks for hanging those pieces of regalia? It’s no wonder Donna Herrin grabs the number one spot with this one. Thanks Donna and see you at the pow wow. Pssst - How much longer are you going to be in there?

The whole world stops when an eagle feather lands on the ground

Adam Moore of Oneida, Wisconsin called this one on the money. No explanation needed other than honoring our fallen heroes and warriors deserves such an honor.

When Shawl Fringe gets caught in a lawn chair

You know the feeling, you are on a roll moving from spot to spot, when suddenly – the human brakes screech to a halt as the fringe gets caught. Yes you are definitely at a pow wow. Thanks Doll Alexander

When people start lining up at 11:30 for 11:00 Grand Entry

Do we need to go into this too much? Native people are late …occasionally. Thanks to Robert Bitto for calling folks out about Indian Time.

When you smell sage, sweetgrass and frybread and hear drums and bells in the same place

There were too many great variations submitted by ICTMN readers of this one to count. But you get the idea. The senses of smell and sound are affected at a pow wow for sure.


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baloouriza's picture
Submitted by baloouriza on
The first one could also be a furry convention. I'm going to also have to say, "You see tribal issued plates, and you're in a state where most cops think they're fake."

chahta ohoyo's picture
chahta ohoyo
Submitted by chahta ohoyo on
you always know you're at a powwow when you see white folks walkin around with a dazed look in their eyes, now knowin which vendor to buy from first, or how to talk to all us ndns, and actually payin 10.00 for fry bread and not complainin...#[