Nipmuc Indian Association of Connecticut



Traditional Dancers
Traditional Dancers
Mid-Summer Powwow
~East Hampton, CT

Wolf's Den Powwow ~ Pomfret, CT

Wolf's Den Powwow
~ Mashmoquet/Pomfret, CT

To some Native peoples of northeastern North America, a 'powwow' was originally a man with special ablities to cure or offer advice from the spirit world. Eliot's Natick Dictionary translation of word 'pauwau' was recorded as "a wizard, witch, magician, etc.", but this is a poor translation. Pow wows, as individuals, were revered for their knowledge; the Narragansett word for "a wise speaker" is 'taupowaw'. Powwow's were needed to help to drive away sickness, ensure success in battle, interpret dreams, or to help individuals or tribes in other ways. Prayers, singing, dancing and drumming were all used by pow wows in those ceremonies; and wherever Native American people gathered there was feasting, socializing and trading. So, the gatherings themselves came to be called Powwows.

Fort Shantok Powwow ~ Montville, CT

Fort Shantok Powwow
~ Montville, CT

ALL people are welcome at Powwows! At times there is an entry fee, and you will often find a wide variety of Native American crafts, trade goods and food for sale; even demonstrations and story telling as well. It's a great place for your entire family to spend the day. Drugs and alcohol are not permitted; pets must be on a leash at all times.

Connecticut River Powwow ~ Sommers, CT

Connecticut River Powwow
~ Sommers, CT

The spiritual center of a Powwow is THE CIRCLE; a place to be respected and honored, it is a sacred place that is blessed by a spiritual leader. The circle is entered only from the East (where there is an opening) and dancers travel in the same direction as the sun.

The singing is a gift and praise to the Creator; and the drum is the heartbeat of our People. The singers and drummers together are called THE DRUM.

Drum at a Powwow ~ Mashpee, MA

Drum at a Powwow
~ Mashpee, MA

Ceremonies start with a "Grand Entry" of the dancers to pay respects to our Creator and to greet one another. Honoring songs, and dances for veterans and our ancestors follow. You will be asked to stand and remove your hat for these ceremonies. Please don't take photos or videos if you're asked not to do so; and please don't touch the clothing or personal belongings of anyone in Native American dress -- much of what is worn is sacred, expensive and/or irreplaceable. But do feel free to ask if you want to take individual pictures, or if you have a question about a particular item that someone is wearing. Most Native People will be pleased to assist you if they're asked first.

Light the Lodge Powwow <br>~ Storrs, CT
Light the Lodge Powwow ~ Storrs, CT

You will see many types of dances at the Powwow. When you hear a 'Round Dance' announced, EVERYONE will be invited to participate. Proceed to the East opening of the circle and join in -- a Round Dance is easy to learn and fun to do.

It's Powwow season now! We hope you'll attend one -- we think you'll enjoy the experience.

NIAC: Native American Music & Performance

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