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The Beginnings of Powwows in Oklahoma

The concept of Powwow dance originated from the Plain Indians who occupied the southern prairies of Canada in the year 1879. During this period, the plain Indians tribes formulated intertribal alliances that supported the exchange and sharing or dances, songs and other ceremonies; this marked the emergence of the powwow festivals that mostly involves showcasing and sharing of the artistic prowess of a community.  

During World War I, the Indians offered massive support to the Americans despite their previous disagreements and tensions. A significant number of Indians remains emotionally disturbed during the war due to their worry about the condition of the soldiers who went to the war.  When the war ended the veterans were appreciated through a homecoming party held for both the Americans and Indian militants. The homecoming celebrations further escalated the growth and acceptance of powwow festivals. The two communities set aside their differences to dance to the drum beats and songs as well as exchange certain cultural values and beliefs. Commemoration of the day was initiated as an honor to the veteran who took part in the war.

The combinations of the ancient traditions with the new procedures and beliefs of the time led to interesting powwow dances and songs. This new version of the powwow dances and songs was first held in, Oklahoma, in the year 1920.

In the early 1950s, the Powwow celebrations were introduced into the city after the migration of the American Chinese in search of jobs. A wider opportunity for sharing and cultural exchange was presented in the cities further leading to the growth and expansion of the Powwow festivals to different states in North America.

Currently, powwow festivals are held in nearly all parts of North America. The festival occurs every year and is mostly conducted over the weekends. Powwow festival is not just attended by the Indians in North America, but also draws a large number of Native Americans as well as attracts different visitors from other parts of the world.

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