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Healing Ways / Medicine Ways / The Key Role of Ceremony / Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Powwow, Mashpee, Massachusetts,…
Color photograph of a Native American female dancing while wearing a blue top and holding a multi-colored blanket.
Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Powwow, Mashpee, Massachusetts, July 2010

A century ago, most powwows involved Natives only, and some included healing ceremonies as well as cultural activities and community sharing.  It was rare for non-Natives to attend.  Today, powwows have evolved into primarily social and cultural events.  Many hundreds of powwows are held each year by tribal groups throughout the United States, in urban as well as rural areas. All people are welcome at most powwows, where they can learn about Indian dancing, singing, drumming, food, culture, and performance regalia.  Powwows are important to Native participants as a place to express and share their tribal cultural traditions.

Courtesy National Library of Medicine/Bryant Pegram