The Black Hills Powwow or He Sapa Wacipi is a preeminent Black Hills event that’s three days filled with Native American singing, dancing, drum groups, art show, hand games, athletic competitions and a variety of other events. Over the decades, the Black Hills Powwow has become one of the premier American Indian cultural events in the United States attracting hundreds of dancers, singers, artisans and thousands of spectators from across North America.
If you’ve never been to a Native American powwow before, there are a few things to keep in mind that will help you fully appreciate the experience. The advice below comes from the Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates:
Attend with an open mind and be willing to learn and share in the event, when invited to do so.
Be respectful of all powwow participants and their regalia. Don’t touch any part of their outfit or take photos, unless you ask for permission first. If a piece of a dancer’s regalia is dropped – leave it be. Let the dancer know and they will retrieve it on their own.
Pay attention to the master of ceremonies and stand during the grand entrance, honor songs and any other times when requested to do so.
Above all, enjoy the experience and if you are unsure of anything, be sure to ask a member of the powwow committee for clarification.
If you can attend the Black Hills Powwow this weekend, you’re guaranteed to be impressed by the event and will most likely learn something about Native American traditions in the process.