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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pow Wow Activities - Sample Assignment by CFT

Pow Wow Investigation Activity (This can be given to kids with the expectation that they will attend a weekend Pow Wow)

You can get this information by listening to the Announcer, reading the program, asking the vendors questions, speaking with dancers, and looking at tables and books.

1. After Grand Entry, there is a Veteran’s Dance, who is considered a veteran?

2. Why are circles important? Which direction does the dance area open toward? Why?

3. What is one special kind of dance?

4. How many Jingle Dress or Grass Dancers were there?

5. How many drums and drummers? Are they all women or men? Why?

6. Ask Native American people you see what Nation (tribe) they come from until you have three different tribes. List them.

7. What is the Announcer/emcee's name and nation?

8. What is the storyteller’s name and nation?

9. Why is storytelling important?

10. What story did you hear from the storyteller?

11. What does Intertribal mean?

12. Were there any special ceremonies that occurred?

13. Find someone selling dream catchers, what is a dream catcher and why is it important?

14. Find someone selling sage. What does sage smell like to you? Why is sage important?

15. Europeans traded glass bead with Native Americans, what are three *traditional* materials that Native Americans make their own beads from?

16. Name two instruments you can buy at Pow Wow.

17. Name three things made of leather that you see today.

18. What are three things you saw specifically for children today.

19. How many turtles did you see?

20. What is something you should NOT do at Pow Wow?

21. How many children do you see in regalia?

22. Do all Native Americans have black hair? feathers? live in a teepee? wear moccasins?

23. Introduce yourself to one Native American person in regalia. Tell your name, grades, school, and background. find out from them:
  • their name or names (they may have a Native name and an English name)
  • their nation
  • where they live
  • what they do for work
  • how they travel
  • any meanings about their regalia

Answer Key to Pow Wow In formation Gathering
1. A veteran may be anyone who put their life between their home and the enemy, or sent a child to war.

2. In this area of the country, circles open in the East. The East is where the sun rises and many nations in the East have this as part of the meaning of their name, ie: “People of the Morning Sun”. They are important because circles symbolize many things, including life, equality, and balance, etc.

3. Some specialty dances are Grass, Fancy, Traditional, Jingle, Hoop, etc.

5. Even though women are and have always been drummers, recent Eastern traditions exclude women from drumming at the “mother drum” due to how much “power” they have to “amplify”, they can sing and rattle at the drum and using hand drums is okay, but they would not be sitting and drumming.

7. What is the Announcer/emcee's name/nation? (Marvin Burnette/Sioux, Starr/Nipmuc, answers vary)

8. What is the storyteller’s name/nation? (Loril MoonDream/White Mountain Apache, answers may vary)

9. Stories teach behavior, tell the history, give role models, etc.

11. Intertribal means many nations have come together, many nations are sharing their dance and songs, guests are also invited to dance, etc.

12. Some special ceremonies are honor dances, eagle feather retrieval, etc.

13. Traditionally a piece of vine twisted in a loop, now sometimes made with wire, with a “web” made of sinew inside. It is put at the head of one’s bed to “catch” the bad dreams, while letting the good ones pass through. Objibway/Assinabe origins)

14. The smoke from burning sage is used to purify and cleanse the spirit, like water cleans the body.

15. Some *traditional* materials that Native Americans make their own beads are bone, wood, clay, shell, etc.

16. Some instruments you can buy at Pow Wow are drum, flute, rattle, etc.

17. Some things made of leather are regalia, pouches, purses, moccasins, etc.

18. Some things specifically for children could be cradle board, books, moccasins, etc.

19. Turtles could be in books, regalia, statues, jewelry.

EXTRA CREDIT (This activity is appropriate for Grades 6 and up, depending on curriculum)
We have been studying human origins, civilization, and culture. Attend the Native American Pow Wow this weekend and write a 500 word essay describing the culture you see. Remember culture includes the "human-made" part of the environment. It refers to elements such as values, social norms, beliefs, attitudes, world views, styles, traditions, and systems of meaning (beliefs, behavior, language) that are shared and transmitted by an identifiable group of people through learning and experience.