Powwow Etiquette


For Native American Indians, the traditional powwow is a family-oriented, social event.  For non-Natives, it is an opportunity to learn about and experience Native history, culture, and traditions.  Because certain aspects of the powwow have sacred and religious meaning, there are some basic guidelines to be followed to ensure the proper honor and respect for the powwow ceremonies and participants.


Once blessed, the dance circle is considered a sacred place.  DO NOT enter or cross the circle unless invited.  The circle is for dancers only!  The Arena Director is responsible for the dance circle. 


ALWAYS listen to the directions and announcements of the Master of Ceremonies.   He will instruct you when to stand for honor ceremonies.




  • The Master of Ceremonies will announce when photographs are not permitted.  


  • Photographs of certain ceremonies and dances are not allowed.  Taking photographs during these activities is highly disrespectful and you may be asked to leave.


  • Photographs may be taken of dancers in the dance circle, unless the Master of Ceremonies specifically asks that photographs not be taken.


  • Please ask permission to photograph anyone when they are not dancing in the dance circle.  This especially applies to children.  If you want to photograph a child, please obtain permission from the parents.    


  • Photographs should be for personal use.  You must have permission of the subject for any sale or distribution of photographs. 


The seats nearest the dance circle are reserved for singers, dancers, drummers, and those with disabilities.  If you are a spectator, or not disabled, please do not sit there.


DO NOT TOUCH any dancer's clothing, feathers, jewelry or belongings.  It is considered highly disrespectful.


Native Americans are proud of their heritage, culture, and traditions.  Feel free to ask questions.