Powwow A Celebration Through Song & Dance (FNCR 2021)

SKU: 9781459812345

Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane
Grade Levels:
Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven
Multiple Nations
Book Type:
Orca Book Publishers
Copyright Date:

Sale price$24.95


In Powwow: A Celebration Through Song and Dance, Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane, Anishinaabe dancer, educator, writer, artist and orator from Wiikwemkoong on Manitoulin Island, Ontario, discusses the origins and definitions of powwow culture, songs and dances, and powwows across Canada and how they are storytelling and restore kinship and families. In these four chapters she introduces powwow through her experiences hearing the drums and the power of songs at the powwow including their political power, and of being Anishinaabe. Chapter one is about the origins of powwow culture through colonization and the Indian Act from 1880, the Pass system, wild west shows, and fall or local fairs to the growing interest in powwow culture in the 1950s to 1960s. By 1951 the Canadian government lifted the ban on practicing culture and customs and having gatherings. However, the residential school system affected the sharing and promotion of traditional knowledge and impacted First Nations. In spite of this powwows have grown in number from summer events to year round and from 100-200 dancers to 800 or more. Chapter two describes the kinds of powwows from small and local to large and competitive ones. The powwow grounds, the Emcee, the Grand Entry through the opening parade, drum, flag song, victory song and opening prayer, till the giveaway are also part of powwows and described in this book. The details of competition powwows are included. Chapter three discusses the powwow songs and dances, drums, dance categories and styles, including Men’s Traditional Dance, Men’s Grass Dance, Men’s Fancy Dance, Women’s Traditional Dance, Women’s Fancy Shawl Dance, and Women’s Jingle Dress Dance. Intertribal and social dances are also noted. Chapter four is an overview of powwows from coast to coast and powwow etiquette. A final word from the author relays the power of powwows for reclaiming Indigenous identity.  Black and white, and colour photographs are placed throughout this book. A glossary, chapter resources, index and acknowledgements conclude Powwow: A Celebration Through Song and Dance. 

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