Powwow Committee Tips Part 2

TIPS FOR POWWOW COMMITTEES. Head Staff, Dancers & Drums

Part 2.

A powwow wouldn’t be a powwow without the head staff, dancers the drums.

  1. Provide Accommodations. It’s not unusual for head staff, dancers and drums to travel long distances to participate in a powwow. In addition to financial compensation, the committee should make proper accommodations for these people who are coming from out of town. Many like to camp out so camping accommodations should be ready either on the grounds if permitted or at a local campground. If the committee has the budget, securing lodging at a hotel or motel is the thing to do. Many hotels will give group rates, and if your powwow committee is part of a nonprofit organization, usually the lodging facilities will give a good discount. You can’t expect these participants to come long distances without being received with hospitality and convenience. Not all powwows have big budgets to pay head staff and drums well, so at the very least providing comfortable accommodations would be much appreciated.
  2. Provide Beverages & Meals. The drums and dancers burn lots of calories all day and often until late in the evening. The head staff is busy all day to keep the powwow going. Throughout the day always provide at least water and if possible, soft drinks, fruit or other refreshing snacks, especially during hot weather. It is customary to also provide at least one main meal each day for these participants. Some powwows have had water coolers and paper cups donated by local water companies. Many local businesses are open to donating bottled water, soft drinks and candy for the tiny tot dancers. It’s important to have a committee member with experience in seeking out in kind donations. Approach local beverage distributers, juice and soft drink companies, and grocery stores and produce growers.
  3. Arbors & Canopies. No one ever knows for sure how the weather when turn out during a powwow. The biggest threat is always the sun and sometimes surprise rain. If the location of your powwow will not permit a permanent arbor around the dance area, provide as many canopies as possible for the drums and dancers. Make sure you also have plenty of chairs because drums and dancers usually come with their families. Better to have extra sitting than not enough.
  4. Respect the Participants. The head staff, drums and dancers are working hard all day and night, which can be exhausting, especially in hot climates. Always treat all them and their families with kindness and respect and do everything to make their participation pleasant and fun during the powwow and they will always come back if they feel appreciated for their part in the powwow.


Categories: Powwow Committees

About Author

Becky Olvera Schultz

Becky Olvera Schultz is an artist and photographer whose background includes journalism, advertising and marketing. She has been in involved with the powwow circuit for several years, participating as a vendor and as a member of powwow planning committees. For more information on Becky, visit her art site at www.native-expressions.com