One of the most exciting and heritage rich celebrations that we Native Americans have is the powwow. It is our way of meeting together with each other to dance, sing, visit with each other, make new friendships, and make new ones. Powwows are our way to renew and preserve our rich heritage and culture. Here is a short list of some of the biggest upcoming fall powwows.
Choctaw Labor Day Festival and Powwow
August 28- September 1
During the Labor Day Weekend, the Choctaw Tribe holds the Labor Day Festival and Powwow in Tvska Homma, Oklahoma. They draw an average of 12,500 visitors a day who come to celebrate and join in the festivities. There are many things to do during this festival including watching 120 dancers compete on the tribal grounds, fish and boat on one of the three lakes nearby, and camp. They will also have games, arts and crafts, concerts, and rides. Make sure you get there on the 28th in order to see the Princess Pageant where competitors show off their personalities, goals as princess, beauty and poise, traditional dress/accessories, and traditional talent.
Cherokee National Holiday Powwow
Arguably the second biggest powwow celebration of all time, not just the fall, is the Cherokee National Holiday, right behind the Gathering of Nations. This festival usually attracts around 16,000 people a day and over 100,000 visitors to the entire festival from all over the world. There are usually around 200 dancers that compete for $35,000 in prize money and many music events. There will also be hundreds of vendors and crafters who will have booths set up where visitors can purchase authentic Native American products and food. Held in Tahlequah, Oklahoma since 1953 this year will be the 62nd Cherokee National Holiday celebration.
Hart of the West Powwow
One of the largest powwows in Los Angeles County, the Hart of the West typically has around 5,000 visitors a day to the powwow. Held in New Hall, California, visitors can visit the Hart Park and Museum and can watch and estimated 140-200 dancers and drummers, and a large amount of arts and crafts. This year will be the 21st celebration held by the Chumash and Tatavium tribes, and is known for keeping with Native American values and traditions.
Even if you can’t make it to all of the major powwows this year, it’s always good to have them on your list so you can go to them later! Were there any powwows that we missed? Have any comments or questions? Please feel free to leave a comment or contact 1st Tribal Lending with your question privately.