Powwow (Ellis)

SKU: 080326755X

Gary H. Dunham, Clyde Ellis, Luke Eric Lassiter
Grade Levels:
College, University
Multiple Nations
Book Type:
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright Data:

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Powwow, edited by Clyde Ellis, Luke Eric Lassiter and Gary H. Dunham, is a recent publication from the University of Nebraska Press. This collection contains 14 scholarly articles about the origins, history, meanings, and ongoing importance of the powwow cultural tradition. The articles describe the origins of the powwow among the Hochunk as well as the continuing history of the powwow tradition among the peoples of the Plains. Patricia Albers and Beatrice Medicine reflect on forty years of involvement in Northern Plains powwow circuit. The second section of the book describes the performance elements and cultural dimensions of powwows among various tribal groups. Discussions include the role of the powwow emcee, powwow songs and dances, inclusion of traditional values in powwows, and the popularity of crowning the Powwow Princess. Contemporary powwows touch First Nations and Native Americans in important ways. Powwows also appeal to a new wave of cultural groupings such as two-spirited Native Americans, new age followers, and German hobbyists. The appropriation of powwows by these groups leads to a transformation of the powwow experience. The overall collection of essays completely dispels the notion of the Pan-Indian theme of powwows once proclaimed as the only means to understand the enduring and growing cultural tradition. Rather the essays demonstrate that the powwow should be viewed through the lens of the intertribal. Urban and rural communities as well as those without a history of powwows have embraced the powwow as a way to express specific cultural values. This is an important contribution to the literature about the powwow.

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