The Sycuan Pow-Wow is a time for people to get together, sing, dance, renew old friendships and make new ones, and a time for young people to meet and court.
What is a Pow-Wow? Originally a Pow-Wow or "celebration" as it was once called, was held in the spring to welcome the beginnings of life. It was a time for people to get together, sing, dance, renew old friendships and make new ones, and a time for young people to meet and court.
The Pow-Wow had religious significance as well; it was a time for families to hold naming and honoring ceremonies. The celebration was also a prayer to the one called Wakan Tanka - the Great Mystery or Great Spirit in Lakota. Some trace the word "Pow-Wow" to the Algonquin language and say that the Europeans adopted it to refer to a council or meeting.
The circle is an important symbol to Indian cultures. At a Pow-Wow, the dancers are in the center of the circle and the audience forms a larger circle around them. The Pow-Wow brings the circle of the people closer together to their community and their culture. Pow-Wows today are still very much apart of the lives of modern Indian people.
Most religious ceremonies are no longer a central part of the Pow-Wow and often are conducted in the privacy of a family gathering. However, blessing ceremonies, honoring ceremonies and ceremonies for dropped eagle feathers remain today. Competitive singing and dancing for prize money is a fairly recent change in the traditional Pow-Wow celebration. Only registered contestants can participate in the dancing contests, but everyone can take part when an "intertribal" dance is announced - visitors included, as each of us shares a place in the circle. There are no spectators at a Pow-Wow, everyone is a participant!
Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.
For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.
English | Change Language