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Dancing, MoonTime
10 years ago

My teachings are that moon time is a very powerful time for a woman and it is so powerful that sometimes she has no control over the power.

I was not refferring to dances of intertribal dances or when the announcer calls in everybody.

This lady was actually dancing sacred dances--she was the wife of the Lead Dancer.

As far as Regalia--unless I am a participant I do not wear my regalia. But the fact that coming in ful regalia, regardless of your status as a participant, gets you in free to most Pow Wows--well that sort of encourages people to come that way. And it does make the Intertribals more interesting.

When I attend my own tribes Pow Wow, we are asked to wear certain things so that we know who fellow tribesmen are.


10 years ago

Yes, Waya, you are very correct and have the correct solution. But the bottom line is live in a soceity that is what is is.

I was taught, by my elders that for certain ceremonies, our ancestors did cover and for some they did not--like the Sweat Lodge.


10 years ago

i was not clear on what this lady was wearing--it was beyond skin tight. Made of the material biker's shorts are made from.

We were at a Spiritual Gathering/ Pow Wow and she could have painted her body with black and purple paint--it would have made no difference.

As for the way you describe your dress and mocs, no, leggings would not be needed. I should have more accurately worded that the legs should be covered. This is what I was taught.


10 years ago
Just as Waya and Dian pointed out..Pow Wows vary from location to location and often within the same tribe..Pow wows do's and don'ts are posted throughout the area and the MC or announcer will make it clear who can and can not join in a dance..There are some dances that only women are invited to dance,some that only unmarieds are invited, some where only elders are invited, some where only veterans are invited..The announcer will make it clear what is permitted and what is not..When I read Chakwaina R. posting it made me smile..I thought about what she wrote about women on their moon cycle and it dawned on me Just how on earth in our modern sociaty would anyone know when a woman is on her cycle? I am a red blooded man and I do pay attention to women and I have yet to see one wearing a sign that says" Stand back I am on my monthly cycle"..Thinking† over what I just wrote in my personal opinion it just might be a good idea if some did..†
10 years ago

So true Dian and also it depends on what kind of gathering we are talking about as well if your talking a ceremonial type dance yes proper attire should be worn if it's an open pow wow where they announce that the dance is open to everyone then it's to be expected that people will be in there that are not dressed in proper attire because another general rule that†is taught to some†when you go to pow wows inless you are part of the pow wow such as a dancer, vendor etc you do not dress in full Regalia because that can devert attention away from those who are in the pow wow by drawing attention to yourself.....

As far as Moon time that also varies from tribe to tribe some tribes view the moontime to be the most powerful time for a female because Moon time is is viewed as a time of renewal....


10 years ago
regarding moon-time......... tradionally, depending on clans, bands, tribes etc. women in their moon-time were sparated from the clan and doing this time would catch up on sewing or beadwork etc.† Women on their moon-in couldn't join in on many things for different reasons, like touching a man's weapon,†men thought it took power from their weapon's etc etc.† This is part of the reason for not entering dances etc.† and it's out of respect that a woman covers her body, remember, dancing is our way of praying, the drum our heart.† Also, most powwows are intertrible and lots of customs etc. have mixed throughout the years.......† you are to honor the tribe on the land you are on, maybe where some of these come from.......
Go back in history
10 years ago

back before the whites came the woman in tribes didn't even wear tops half the time. It's only when whites came† that Indian started wearing clothes because the whites said it was uncivilized to dress the way they did so gone were the loin clothes the Indian men wore and woman had to fully cover......

In todays society we have to wear clothes why because woman no longer respect themselves as they once did and in today's society sex rules and men no longer respect the woman like they did....It would be nice if all would start to teach that respect again and then maybe people would look at tight clothing and nudity in a different light.


10 years ago

One should have respect for ceremonies and dress accordinlgly however the impotants of leggings with all dances I fail to see simply because my dress goes to the floor with the bead and my moccasins go half way up my calf and because of the way the dress is made it would be hard for a wind to blow it up especially with the beads at the bottom and it certainly couldn't bounce up either to show anything......

As far a a female wearing something tight to the dance it's all in the way a person perceive's things in a traditional dance or ceremony for sure it would be in poor taste but for me and the way I see things it's hardly vulgar.....

I guess because in my profile pic here I am†wearing a tight fitting shirt I suppose that's vulgar to some but is it a question of it being vulgar or the person who feels it is has some inner issues....


Many years ago,
10 years ago

..... when I first began to journey in the sweat lodge, I asked a question of a man who is known round the world for his leadership in the Native American community, "Why,†if we are entering into the this lodge to experience a cermemony which is to be a recreation†and re-experiencing of being in the womb of the mother and we are to clean our selves up and be born again into the world renewed and refreshed, are we wearing clothing?"†

†† He answered and said, " It is because some are ashamed of their bodies and wish to hide them so†it is†allowed so that they aren't uncomfortable.†Some are ashamed of others bodies and don't wish to see them so we†ask people to cover themselves†this so as not to†cause embarassment or shame. Others are more passionate and easily distracted by human form and so we†ask people to cover themselves†so that all can focus on what they came here for. But you are right to think we would best enter this ceremony as we entered the world. Unfortunately we are in a time where this is not so easy to do."†

††† It would be nice if the whole world saw beauty in the forms we were all given by the creator to wear and we didn't find it necessary to hide them. But like the†water in the river bed we must find our way where we find it.

†††† May we all find our way.††††††

Something Missing Here--
10 years ago

Not sure why it was not posted or maybe it was and as I read through here, am just not seeing it--

But never should a woman enter the Dance Circle/Arena if it is during her moon time.

And not only should a woman have on a dress to enter the arena, her legs should be completely covered, hence the use of leggings.

I once watched a very beautiful Native woman dance in the arena with her husband and she wore a skin tight black biker type material knee length pants and one shoulder top of the same material. He ws in full regalia. She was other than this. They danced beautifully but the skin tightness of her clothing was vulgar to say the least.


powwow rules
11 years ago
I was once a singer and dancer at many powwows. During intertribal skads [lots] of people would flock to Drums to record. I myself would record but only intertribal. After the powwow we, the drum, would listen to the tape and maybe learn a new song. How else can one learn a Intertribal song? Unless you record. Standing? Only if you are able bodied and not a senior. Never had I or other Natives ask anyone to record Intertribal. Next time you go to a powwow see if anyone who is in a wheelchair stand during Grand Entry or 'special songs.' All, not most powwows, prohibit alcohol or illegal drugs. Remember a Powwow is meant to have fun. To sing, dance, observe, participate and uh....snag out. lol Before I attend a powwow I check it out to see if the powwow is ac- cessable to those who are disable. College powwows seem to be the best for any who are in wheelchairs or walkers.
11 years ago
Charley's 16 Powwow Rules by Charles Phillip Whitedog
reprinted with permission

Powwow general rules for first timers.

It should be noted that every POWWOW is different so the first rule is the most important. The key is respect, and many "first timers" don't have access to the life-long teachings that we take for granted. Here is the "Charley's 16 rules", hope you enjoy.

The following are general rules I give to follow when going to a POWWOW.

  1. Listen to the Master of Ceremonies.

  2. Do not sit within the arena. The chairs inside the arena are reserved for the dancers. Use the outside circle or bleachers if provided.

  3. If you want to take pictures, check with the POWWOW host first, then check with the person you are taking pictures of and ASK THEIR PERMISSION. Under no circumstances may you enter the arena to take photos. Put your camera down for all memorial dances.

  4. All tape recording must be done with the permission of the Master of Ceremonies and the Lead (or Head) Singer of EACH drum. When a new drum starts, do not enter the arena to get to the other drum. Don't run. Miss the song and wait for the next one to take your time getting to the drum. Nothing is more rude than "Recorder-runners" ganging around a drum. Many Powwow disallow this anyway (fine by me!).

  5. If you are not wearing traditional Regalia, you may dance only on social songs (like Two-Step, Blanket Dance, Honoring Songs, Circle, etc..) Sometimes a blanket dance is held to gather money. You may enter the circle to donate.

  6. Only those with the permission of the Lead Singer may sit at a drum. (And it's a good idea to know the songs because it's often a habit to ask the "stranger" to lead one.)

  7. Stand and men must remove their hat (unless traditional head gear) during the Grand Entry, Flag Songs, Invocation, Memorial, Veterans Songs, and the Closing Song.

  8. During the Gourd Dancing, only Gourd Dancers and Gourd Dance Societies are to enter the Dance arena. Owning a gourd rattle does not make one a Gourd Dancer. Check with the local Societies.

  9. Please do not permit your children to enter the dance circle unless they are dancing.

  10. Do not touch anyones dance Regalia without their permission. These clothes are not "costumes" and yes we use modern things like safety pins and such because we are a "living" culture, our Regalia is subject to change. Leave your stereotypes at home. (Yes there are some blond tribal enrolled Indians... no ones fault that life goes on!)

  11. If you are asked to dance by an elder, do so. It is rude and disrespectful to say, "I don't know how." How can you learn if you turn the elders down?

  12. Most all Powwows do not allow Alcoholic beverages, Gold Paint cans, or drugs here. The Powwow is a time of joyful gathering and celebration of life. Alcohol and drugs are destroying our way of life and these "bad" spirits are not welcome.

  13. It's funny how much trash we as people drop. Make an extra effort to walk to the trash can. Respect Mother Earth.

  14. Remember always: Native American Indian dances are more than the word "dance" can describe. They are a ceremony and a prayer which all life encompasses and produce many emotional and spiritual reactions. Some dances are old, some are brand new... the culture continues to live and evolve.

  15. Urban Powwows are much more "tense" than Powwows on the rez. As people are away from the comfort of culture, they tend to take things more seriously. Abide by peoples wishes and requests. We as Indian people believe differently. Some dance around clock-wise, others counter clock-wise. If our host asks, we sometimes voluntarily show our respect by temporarily changing our way(s). Show your respect by doing the same.

  16. Have fun. Buy something from the vendors. Donate if you can. And most of all don't be so uptight and relax. The whole universe comes together this day to celebrate. You are invited to join in.

    Please remember, these are general rules when there is no other ground work to proceed from. Hope this helps. -Charles Phillip Whitedog

11 years ago

Francisca has received 20 new, 23 total stars from Care2 membersFrancisca has been awarded 44 butterflies for taking action at Care2 Francisca H.
Sage is sacred I believe everywhere and different tribes have different ways to purify sage†for ceremonies, smudging and for burning in the house.† Some can be very touchy about how sage is used and that could be the reason.
11 years ago
Whew!† I have been wondering about that, not to mention where I was gonna find a moo moo.† lol
11 years ago
LOL, I think he meant not a skin tight dress.
11 years ago

Great advice, group!† Wado.

A Navajo friend of mine told me that, regardless of the tribe, not only should I wear a dress, but it should did he describe it?† He†said it should be "flowing."† What does that mean?†Was he talking about a moo-moo?

11 years ago
Oh,†I forgot about the shorts....† I never wear them to powwows, only family gatherings, good point.
11 years ago

Would like to add a few

If you are a woman-do not enter the circle in shorts or pants, unless you are a two-spirit person.† At the last Powwow I attended-we also played in a softball tournament.† One of the elders came and reminded us that although all were welcome to dance that the chief had asked that the women wear skirts or dresses to dance.

Prepare yourself mentally before going to the powwow so that your best intentions and blessings come with you.† Make it your intention to give to the circle, not just take away. Come with love on your heart and it will radiate out from you.

If you are asked to join the circle in dance-please try to honour that request-my dad saved a woman's life from Seine River First Nation-he found her in a diabetic coma in a ditch and took her for help.†Later, that summer, she asked him to celebrate that with her by dancing at the PowWow-he did not, because he was embarassed-but he says now that it was a HUGE mistake that he made to dishonour her request, and he regrets it to this day.

May your feet dance lightly in the circle

11 years ago
I agree that there's nothing like a powwow to get your blood going.† Like I stated, these are rules I grew up with and out of respect, I do follow them.† I have attended many powwows in street clothes and have enjoyed myself.† Remember that Intertribal means many tribes come together to enjoy themselves and each tribe has their own rules, these were suppose to be general guidelines.† I didn't mean to upset anyone.† Each person has their own thoughts and beliefs and I understand that perfectly, LOL, I know I have my own.† Wado for all of your input.
Powwow Etiquitte
11 years ago

†I read† the 'Powwow Etiquette'† and all sounds well except

all the powwows I have attended you will always see a flock of

people recording at Drums during Intertribal. Also I seen people

in regular street clothes dance during Intertribal.† Like me using

a walker or wheelchair.

†Stand....only if you are able bodied and not in a wheelchair like

me. A long Time ago I was a dancer but now that I am disable

due to my drinking days. I don't drink anymore† and I don't dance

or sing but yeah I still enjoy powwows. You might see me using

a walker or wheelchiar.

†Before my disability I use to sing with my younger bro at various

powwows. Tiz a good feeling when skads of people record you siniging

during Intertribal cause you know you must sound good. And I like

to record intertribal songs at powwows. Laters!

Exactly, Christine...
11 years ago

things that bother my sister don't bother me in the least. Some people are very sensitive†when it comes to†certain things. When I was pregnant, I didn't care if people touched my belly. In fact, I had a lot of fun with it. I could†balance a glass of water on it when I sat down which got a laugh, and I always had people feel Matt's little foot pushing and kicking outward. But, I sure don't like anyone rummaging around in my handbag unless they have permission to get keys or something. It may not be sacred but, it's personal.

I'd have a hard time NOT taking pictures, though.

11 years ago

i think the very fact that one man was offended, yet another†man complimented you on your display says much, in itself... just as there are many customs and many diverse colloquialisms thoughout the united states, so it is with all peoples, subjects†and customs...


11 years ago
I attended the Heal the Earth Pow Wow at Cal Poly Pomona University this past Sunday.† I was there to lead a group of visitors through the Tongva Garden on campus.† We set up an educational display where we had pine cones and nuts from Pinyon Pine, chia seeds, and various types of fresh sages from the garden.† I had previous knowledge that the sages in particular are considered very sacred to the Tongva and other Southern California groups, and I was careful not to present them in a disrespectful manner.† However, a man came up to me very angry saying that we were disrespecting the sages.† I was quite upset because our intention was to present the beautiful diversity of the plants of California and to honor indigenous history.† Later a Tongva man came up to the display and did not seem in any way offended by how we were presenting the sages.† In fact, he was telling me more about how they were used according to the old ways.

Is there ettiquette for handling sages a certain way when displaying them for educational purposes?

11 years ago
Sometimes I think no one has told them and so they just don't know.
thanks for the links
11 years ago

thank you, dian... i actually had someone once try to open my medicine bag ... it wasn't bad enough that he touched it, without asking... people just have no respect... or is it just plain curiousity, do they just act before they think?


11 years ago
I was pregnant 4 times, oh do I know what you mean†† LOL
11 years ago
While I agree with the conversation as a whole, I believe we should respect anything or any†part of another person.† When I was pregnant, people were constantly touching my belly... finally I had enough and said so.† Did the same when they wanted to pick up my son w/ out asking.† I was not rude about it, would simply state my view on the matter and thanked them for asking, if they did... But to do it w/out asking is just plain disrespectful.† People need there space.† It is always best to ask and respect the person wishes.†††
11 years ago

You cannot currently send a star to Dian because you have done so within the last week.†††††


Thanks Dian and Tom...
11 years ago
for these teachings!† I appreciate it very much as I still have much to learn.. and I learn something new everyday in this group!
11 years ago
Wado Tom.† Great explaination!!!† Dohi.
Thanks, Tom...
11 years ago
†Much appreciated and it makes sense.
11 years ago
When one touches anothers personal items, it is not good. A medicine bag is spiritual and given by ones tribal members, in it lies many special things of healing and power,†Each item has special meaning to that one persons medicine bag. It is a very special gift of ones own, that reflects that persons spirit. It is†like one has , perhaps an heirloom, that has been passed down through the family to each new child, from their Great Grandparents or Grandfolks, or Mother, father, brother, or sister. whom has long departed. It is sacred†item that has been passed to them.†There are things allowable and not allowable to touch or sometimes see. It is a gift of great value to that particular person...It is also understandable that some people do not understand the feelings inbedded in a sacred thing, and therefore, are unaware of its meaning to one. I know I was once a drummer and flutest, as well as dancer many moons ago, when I had the chance to attend many pow-wows...It is an honor to be blessed by "just being a part or participating fully" and asked to join in the celebration of our past heritage and culture...† TomH
Thank you, Dian...
11 years ago
†This is good information to know. I hope that someday I can go to a Pow Wow. You mentioned that someone touched your Medicine this a bad thing to do?
Powwow Etiquette
11 years ago

For those that donít know me, I wear the traditional style Cherokee medicine bag, which is 2 strands of bone and glass pony beads with my bag sewn in the middle and worn as a choker.† To my dismay, at the powwow, I had someone reach up touch it thinking it was jewelry. I won't say how I felt about this but I notice that a lot of rules I grew up with are not being followed and was thinking maybe some just donít know.

I decided to sit down and post the basic powwow rules that we follow just in case some do not know what they are.† If you think of some that I have not listed, please add them.† Wado.

1.† Listen to the Master of Ceremonies.

2. Do not sit within the arena.† The chairs inside the arena are reserved for the dancers.

3. If you take pictures, please check first with the person you are taking pictures of.† (Rule of thumb I use is I just take pictures of my family at family gatherings)† Under no circumstances may you enter the arena to take pictures.

4. You must have permission from the Master of Ceremonies and the Lead Singer before you can recording anything, including video cameras.

5. If youíre not wearing traditional Regalia, you may dance only on Social songs like the Two-Step, Blanket dance, Honoring songs, etc.

6. You MUST have permission of the Lead Singer to sit at the Drum.

7. Stand during Grand Entry if not entering the arena with Grand Entry.† Stand during the Flag song,† Veteranís song and the Closing Song.† This is to show great respect.

8. During the Gourd Dancing, only the Gourd dancers are to enter the arena.

9. Please do not children enter the dancing circle unless they are dancing.

10.† DO NOT TOUCH anyoneís dance Regalia, personal items, etc. without their permission.

11. Donít turn down an invitation by others, especially from an Elder.

12. Drugs and alcohol are not allowed and respect Mother Earth and throw you trash away.† If you see it in the arena, please pick it up.


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