Sign up

Sign up to receive email updates from the
Akta Lakota Museum!

Necklace from the Akta Lakota Museum Shopping Center



What is a powwow?

A wacipi - powwow - is a Native American gathering focused on dance, song and family celebration. It celebrates the connections to tradition and spirituality, to the Earth and to one another in a social, personal and spiritual meeting.

Powwows began mainly as religious ceremonies to gain wisdom from and give thanks to Wakan Tanka - Creator. Though many of today's powwows have evolved into social and contest-oriented dances, religious and ceremonial dances are still performed. St. Joseph's powwow, Gathering of the Wakanyeja - little beings, is a contest-oriented dance. Our goal is to celebrate each other, especially the wakanyeja - little beings!

The (Lakota) Sioux children of St. Joseph's Indian School are excited to dance in our annual Lakota powwow!Though the dance styles and content have changed, the meaning and importance of the dance has not. No other event captures the Native American spirit like the powwow. Dancers in colorful regalia gracefully move around the circle, with the drum beat directing their movements. The tradition is passed from one generation to the next.

All people (including non-Indian people) are welcome to St. Joseph's Indian School's children's powwow. It is a valuable and fascinating cultural experience for those unfamiliar with the rich traditions of our Lakota brothers and sisters.

The (Lakota) Sioux children of St. Joseph's Indian School are excited to dance in our annual Lakota powwow.Registered contestants participate in the dancing until the "intertribal dance" is announced. At this time, all visitors attending the powwow take part. At a powwow, there are no spectators, everyone is considered a participant.

The circle is an important symbol in Indian culture. During a powwow, this symbol becomes very apparent. The audience forms a circle around the dancing grounds, and the powwow dancers make up the center of the circle.

The (Lakota) Sioux children of St. Joseph's Indian School are excited to dance in our annual Lakota powwow.When dancing, being in time with the drum beat is important. While each dance has its own style, the dancer is judged on rhythm and must be able to end the dance with both feet on the ground precisely when the music stops.

Movements may be patterned after animals or signal pride or acknowledgement of a special meaning in the song. Some dancers are judged on speed and footwork as well.

Donate to help our children in need handcraft their own Lakota powwow regalia.

 

All active news articles