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Table of Contents The Pow Wow 2


The Arena 2 The Spiritual Leader


The Master of Ceremonies or MC 2 The Arena Director


Head Man/Woman Dancer


The Drum 3 The Southern Drum


The Northern Drum


Pow Wow Etiquette


Dances 4 American Indian Changing Spirits 8 Pendlton Blankets 10 First Nations Experience FNX TV 11 NAIPFFVM

2 The Master of Ceremonies or MC

The Pow Wow Pow Wows are a critical part of American Indian society. Often the glue that holds a community together helping to maintain continuity in times when increased outside pressures try to force changes that threaten Indian identity. Pow Wows help fulfill social and spiritual functions acting as an arena where people can visit friends and relatives, honor members of the community, celebrate happenings in the community, and take part in dancing, prayers, and rituals helping reinforce traditions and model the culture for the children so that “the people might live.”

While this list is by no means comprehensive, it will give you some guidance as to what you will see and experience at the Pow Wow. The thing to always bear in mind is that Pow Wow is a joyous celebration of Native American culture and tradition. All are welcomed to share in the richness and beauty.

Some of the various components of the Pow Wow include:

The Spiritual Leader It is customary to invite the Spiritual Leader from the tribe to which the land belongs. In Los Angeles, this would be the Tongva (also known as the Gabrielino). The Spiritual Leader blesses the arena and helps fill the spiritual needs of the people.


The Master of Ceremonies acts as the “host” or voice that presides over the timing of the Pow Wow. The MC is responsible for keeping the Pow Wow moving in an orderly and timely manner. He notifies the dancers, directs the drums in the order and type of song they will play, and makes announcements of general interest to all present.


The Arena Director

The arena area is blessed by the Spiritual Leader at the onset of the Pow Wow. After the arena is blessed, the arena is sacred ground, and the circle area is reserved for dancers, drums, and ceremony.

The Arena Director directs activities in the arena and helps ensure appropriate behavior. Sometimes the Arena Director is accompanied by a Whip Man who sees that the arena is treated with respect. The Arena Director is equivalent to a Sergeant-At-Arms maintaining order in the arena, ensuring protocol is followed, and assisting the dancers, the MC, Pow Wow officials, and the Head Staff in carrying out the Pow Wow.

Your cooperation in keeping the sacredness of the circle is greatly appreciated. Please also keep your children with you at all times (no running or playing in the arena) and keep the arena entry (the East Gate) clear.

Head Man/Woman Dancer These dancers are chosen to lead the Pow Wow proceedings based on his or her knowledge of dances, protocol, and traditions. Generally, no one else dances until one or both of the Head Dancers begin the particular dance or set of dances.

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The DRUM The Drum consists of a group of singers surrounding the Pow Wow drum with a lead singer. Most Pow Wows have a Northern Drum and Southern Drum who perform different songs and styles depending on what is happening in the arena. Other drums are invited to join around the arena. The drum is considered sacred as it is “The Heartbeat of the People,” and it is the central feature to the Pow Wow or any other Native American gathering. At the Pow Wow, each drum comes prepared with a repertoire of as many as 200 songs. The singers must know the appropriate song for the various Pow Wow events and dances. Divided into Southern and Northern styles, the listener will notice singing which differs in tempo, pitch, song configuration, and style. The Southern Drum Southern Drum is style of singing and drumming from the Southern Plains, especially Oklahoma. Songs may have breaks or pauses, the cadence is generally slower, and the pitch is lower than Northern Style. The Northern Drum Northern Drum is the Northern Plains style of singing and drumming. Songs are generally in four parts with a tailing end, with no breaks or pauses, and uses higher pitch singing. The Head Singer Head Singer is the lead singer, most often from the Host Southern Drum. He holds the honorary position, and chooses the appropriate song(s) and leads the drum.

A DANCER’S CLOTHING IS CALLED “REGALIA”: Please do not refer to the clothing of the dancer as a “costume.” Doing so could be taken as an offense, though the dancer may not voice it. Among traditional dancers it is thought that only clowns and actors wear costumes. A dancer’s regalia is a unique expression of spirit, often comprised of heirlooms and other articles handmade by family and friends handed down generation to generation. Please do not touch a dancer’s regalia or photograph without first asking permission.

4 Men’s Fancy Dance The Men’s Fancy Dance is characterized by copious beadwork, brilliant colors, double bustles and sometimes bustles at the arms. This dance takes grace, strength, and incredible coordination.

Women’s Fancy Shawl Dance Long-fringed shawls with colorful designs coordinate with beaded moccasins, leggings, capes, and hairties. Another spirited high-energy dance, this dance from the north country and has become more popular in recent years.

Participants stand during the blessing and honoring songs. Men remove their hats in respect, and women wear or carry their shawls during this time or when entering the arena.

Pow Wow Etiquette ARRIVE AT THE START OF THE DAY: The MC will often explain many of the events before they start. If a printed program is available use it to follow the day’s activities. The program may also include special rules of conduct.

STAND DURING SPECIAL SONGS: Including the Grand Entry, Flag Song, Veteran’s Song, Memorial Song, as well as any Prayer Songs the MC indicates. Men and women should remove hats during these songs to show respect.

BRING YOUR OWN SEATING: Unless you are a family member of the dancers, singers, drums, or Head Staff, please provide you own seating. Public seating/stands are often provided. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on. Please do not move chairs or blanket already set to make room for yours.

RESPECT REGALIA. Never pick up or handle another person’s regalia without permission. Besides regalia being expensive, many of the symbols represent families or nations, and some articles are sacred.



The Men’s Northern Traditional Dancers wear elaborate bustles with long feathers, often from the Eagle. Headpieces or “roaches” are made of porcupine hair or the hair from the deer’s tail. Usually two eagle feathers adorn the center of the roach and are often placed in “spinners” to allow the feathers to twirl during the movement of the dance.

GRASS DANCE The Grass Dancer can be identified by the lack of bustles, long fringe or ribbons hanging gracefully from the regalia, and elaborately decorated pants, shirt, cuffs, apron and moccasins. Usually a “roach” with one feather adorns the head of the grass dancer. Dancers often wear bells at the ankle that make for an auditory accompanyment to the fast and energetic movements of the grass dancer.

LADIES’ CLOTH DANCE is characterized by the slow, graceful walk and gentle sway in exact time to the music contribute to the stateliness of the dance. The gentle swaying motion of the shawl folded over the arm and motion of the body match the drumbeat. Much of the beaded work contain important symbols to the tribe or dancer. This dance is about control and stateliness.

6 THE JINGLE DANCE This dance is characterized by the numerous jingle cones that “sing� with the dancer like the sound of many tiny bells. The story goes that an old Ojibwa man dreamed of the dance and made the dress for his daughter. The spirits were so please, the man made a miraculous recovery.

7 LADIES TRADITIONAL BUCKSKIN DANCE Originally only worn by women leaders, this dance is the epitome of stateliness and regality, and the dancer carries herself with dignity and absolute control. The buckskin dress decorated with elaborate beadwork is finely made and a thing of beauty. During the song, the dancer will salute the drum with her feather fan.

Below right, Spritual Leader James (Jimi) Castillo and his lovely wife Jeanette.

Dominguez Inaugural Pow Wow 2011. Head Woman Dancer, Jessica Whiteshield; Dean Sandra Parham; Ms. Decrane; Head Man Dancer, Richard Decrane; President Garcia; Jorge Haynes; Cheryl McKnight, Irene Vasquez; Paulie Vasque


Pendleton Blankets Lake Arrowhead Pendleton Store #52 offering up to 75% off sales! The Dominguez Hills Annual Pow Wow wishes to express our appreciation for Pendleton Lake Arrowhead’s dontation of a beautiful Pendleton American Indian blanket to support our Pow Wow. Pendleton Suite F-100 (909)336-4860 Pendleton #52 Lake Arrowhead We are located in the San Bernardino Mountains at 28200 Hwy 189 Lake Arrowhead, Ca. 92352 Just a 30 minute drive from the Waterman exit on the 210 freeway DIRECTIONS: Head North on Waterman Ave. from the 210 Waterman turns into Hwy 18 Take Hwy 18 to Hwy 173 Road Sign Points to Lake Arrowhead Make a left on Hwy 173 When you reach the stop sign go straight this is the entry for Lake Arrowhead Village.

Pendleton, USA - Serving American Indians since 1896


About Us FNX: First Nations Experience FNX: First Nations Experience is the first of its kind endeavor introduced by PBS member station, KVCR, and founding partner, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians of Southern California. A 24/7 high definition (HD) multiplatform digital media vehicle, FNX launched on September 25, 2011.

FNX: FIRST NATIONS EXPERIENCE 701 South Mt. Vernon Avenue, San Bernadino, CA 92410 · Tel. 909-384-4444 · Fax 909-8852116

The Mission A member of the World Indigenous Broadcast Network, FNX is the first general public, multimedia venture in the United States created to showcase the lives and cultures of Native American and indigenous peoples around the world.

The Vision Initially serving the second largest market in the United States of potentially 18 million viewers, FNX broadcasts from the KVCR Studios in Southern California's Inland Empire. Within one year, FNX plans to expand and lead the way as a U.S. producer and national and global exhibitor (via the Internet and over-the air, satellite and cable broadcast systems) of authentic First Nations storytelling. Programming will comprise varying genres including documentaries, sports, feature film, drama series, news and comedy. Let FNX be your experience. All people originate from an indigenous source. Whether you are a producer, interactive user, viewer or donor - if you support the FNX mission and share its vision, then become a valued and active stakeholder in the experience. Welcome to FNX. It's time.

..FNX Desk Did You Know? Ben Nighthorse Campbell a U.S. Senator from Colorado from 1993 until 2005, Ben Nighthorse Campbell was, for a time, the only Native American serving in the U.S. Congress. He was a U.S. Representative from 1987 to 1993. He served in the U.S. Air Force in Korea from 1951-1953, and received a bachelor’s degree in physical education and fine arts from San Jose State University in 1957 as well as attending Meiji University in Tokyo. Ben Nighthorse Campbell was a leader in public lands and natural resources policy. He helped pass landmark legislation to settle Indian water rights. Campbell was in the forefront of sponsoring legislation to protect Colorado wilderness as well. The National Museum of the American Indian in the Smithsonian Institution and treatment programs to battle Fetal Alcohol Syndrome are two issues that he has also championed. .

We are pleased to announce that FNX will be present at CSU Dominguez Hills to film a documentary of the Pow Wow.


Native American Indian Parents, Family, and Friends of Victims of Murder

The CSUDH Foundation is a non-profit entity Foundation The California State University, Dominguez Hills Foundation was incorporated in 1968 as a partner of the University to provide services and to develop and enhance programs that are an integral part of the educational mission of California State University, Dominguez Hills. For tax deductible donations, please make checks payable to Foundation AII # 8283

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Image courtesy of Sam English

. . . . Protecting and Healing our Indian Peoplee For Native American Indians, murder is as much of a reality today as it was centuries past. The difference today is we are citizens just like all Americans. Issues we deal with are legal, social, emotional, and spiritual along with financial, federal, or local urban laws, as well as other issues that are placed upon us unexpectedly. Many laws differ from state to state, county to county, region, or city. Understanding the issues surrounding these laws and differences among jurisdictions can be a problem.


Native American Indian Parents, Family, and Friends of Victims of Murder

American Indian Institute (AII) Our American Indian Insitute promotes education, health, culture, and social justice in the American Indian Community. Also, the Insitute aims to provide an arena to engage and promote current and future American Indian-related opportunities to the campus community. For information:

What We Do

American Indian Institute (AII)

Our many tribal traditions, culture, ceremonies, and beliefs can differ greatly; however when a murder occurs, we as Native American Indians have in common the heartbreak and overwhelming grief of the loss of a loved one. We tribal people have been taught from generation to generation to help one another. Our hope is that this organization will act as an arena for mutual support. Tribal governments and programs have attorneys and it is important that tribal members contact your tribal governments and tribal councils in regards to hiring attorneys to assist and work with families in their time of need and crisis. It is only by using our voice, we will be heard. My name is Ben Lucero Wolf, and as a member of the Kiowa Nation and the father of two murder victims I am reaching out to you on behalf of my sons and nephews whom I raised, Benjamin Keith Wagner Zotigh, (Dec 8, 1987—Jan 4, 2011) and Shane Dean Zotigh (June 29, 1982—Aug 7, 2002). I love them

The Star Quilt Project Currently, we are seeking support for the Star Quilt Project to help with dealing with our shared grief and to help act as our voice to the world. The Star Quilt will include the names, photos, tribal affiliations, and dates of the loved ones we have lost. Anything you can contribute, no matter how small will help make this a reality. You can submit photos and information and any contributions you care to make to: Ben Lucero Wolf, PO Box 1764, Long Beach, CA, 90801.

both and miss them dearly.

Our webpage is at:

We have formed this organization to give support

to American Indian people who have lost love ones


through violence or murder.

Guide to the Pow Wow  

Guide to Pow Wow etiquette and explanation of dances and regalia

Guide to the Pow Wow  

Guide to Pow Wow etiquette and explanation of dances and regalia