September 1st, 2014

Eastern Band of Cherokee Hosts Fourth of July Pow Wow, July 1-2 at Cherokee, N.C.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will host its Fourth of July Pow Wow at the Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds, July 1-2 in Cherokee, N.C. This intertribal gathering features native dance and drum competitions. Groups will compete for prize money in categories such as traditional, golden age, jingle, grass and fancy, in youth, teen and adult age groups.

The annual event will also feature arts and crafts vendors with handmade jewelry, clothing, crafts and artwork produced by tribal members from around the U.S. and Canada.

Daily admission is $10, with children 6 and under free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The Fair Grounds are located at the intersection of U.S. 441 and Tsali Boulevard in Cherokee, NC – only an hour from Asheville, NC. For information, contact the Cherokee Welcome Center at 1-800-438-1601, or visit

More Information On Pow Wows & Pow Wow Etiquette

About Pow Wows:

Powwows are not part of the Cherokee tradition but have become popular as social gatherings among many Native American tribes across the U.S. and Canada. The name “pow wow” was derived either from the Narragansett word “powwaw,” meaning shaman, or the Algonquian term “pau-wau” or “pauau,” which referred to a gathering of medicine men and spiritual leaders among various Plains Indian tribes.

The origins of the pow wow are cloaked in mystery but some accounts suggest the first ceremonies were held 400 years ago by the Omaha tribe in the Dakotas. The tradition later spread through Oklahoma, where various warrior societies adopted war dances to commemorate bravery and victory in battle. Modern pow wows began as far back at the 1890s in Montana, though records are sketchy because the federal government outlawed Native American ceremonies and assemblies.

Pow wows grew in popularity among Native tribes in the 1950s and again in the 1980s and 1990s as celebrations of Native values and identity. Today, pow wows are often called to commemorate special occasions and may last anywhere from one day to one week.

Pow Wow Etiquette:

If you choose to attend a pow wow, there are certain basic rules of etiquette that should be honored:

- Listen to the directions of the master of ceremonies.

- Never refer to a dancer’s regalia as a costume.

- Never touch a dancer’s regalia or a drum.

- Ask permission before taking an individual dancer’s photo and never photograph ceremonies (the master of ceremonies will let you know which are off-limits).

- Do not enter the dance arena once unless you are participating.

- Do not sit in the dance arena — this area is reserved for dancers, the drum and other pow wow participants.

- Dance only to social songs unless you are wearing dance regalia.

- Dance during social songs if asked by an elder, even if you don’t know how.

- Never record a drum without the head singer’s permission.

- Keep children out of the dance arena.

- Do not block anyone else’s view of the dance arena.

- No alcohol or drugs are permitted.

- Leave pets at home.

- Never pick up anything lost from a dancer’s regalia– and notify a pow wow official immediately.

- Stand and remove your hat (except for traditional tribal headgear or regalia) during flag songs and honor songs as directed by the master of ceremonies.

- Pick up any trash.

- Show honor, respect and kindness to others at all times.

- Donate generously–it honors the individual dancers and allows them to continue their activities to support native culture.

- Have a good time–see old friends and make new ones!

For photography and information about other Cherokee N.C. cultural attractions, visit the Press Room at

For interviews and b-roll, contact: Kathi Petersen, (828) 712-1286

Author Information

Kathi Petersen