About Pow Wows

2013-pow-wow-man-02.jpgA pow wow is normally set up as a series of large circles. The center circle is the dance arena, outside of which is a circle consisting of the MC's table, drum groups and sitting areas for dancers and their families. At outdoor pow wows, this circle is often covered by either a committee-built arbor or each group will provide their own sun shade. Beyond these two circles is often an area for spectators, while outside of all are several rings of vendor booths, where one can buy supplies, food or arts and crafts.

The master of ceremonies, or MC, is the voice of the pow wow. It is his job to keep the singers, dancers and general public informed about what is happening. The MC sets the schedule of events and maintains the drum rotation (order of when each drum group gets to sing). The MC is also responsible for filling any dead air time that may occur during the pow wow—often with jokes. The MC may run raffles or other contests during the pow wow as well.