Activity Idea: Pow WOW!

Pow Wow- ©Sarah Cates

One of the traditional activities that mark the years for us is the Native American Pow Wow at the Trail of Tears Park in Hopkinsville, KY. It’s always held on the weekend after Labor Day, and there’s just something about it that signals the changing of the seasons, the coming of fall.

These events can be very exciting for kids. Depending on the year, and the location, Pow Wows offer a variety of different sights and smells. Fry bread is a regular treat sold at the stands, along with other tasty goodness. There are innumerable crafts, furs, jewelry- even headdresses! As you go along, you may run into a storyteller with children sitting around his feet. Many of the dancers travel around between competitions, and almost all are friendly and willing to pose for a picture with your kids.  There are certain dances where they invite everyone into the center ring and your kids can spin along with the Native Americans! Our Pow Wows have included amazing hoop dancers, flute players, and even tomahawk throwing contests. The highlight of every year for us is the final round of the dance competition where the “fancy dancers” dance off to win the pot of money. They call this the “dance of the athlete” and you can see why! They give it all they’ve got!

If you’ve never been to such an event, it’s definitely worth trying. If you are a homeschooler and can attend a Pow Wow in the fall, you can even use the opportunity to talk about Thanksgiving and how the Native Americans helped the first settlers. Educational + fun=….funducational?

To find out if you have a Pow Wow near you, try this site. By selecting my state and pressing “GO” I was able to locate ours easily. There’s also info on the size of the Pow Wow, etc. on many of the pages. Enjoy!

Pow wow-© Sarah Cates

Check out the claw at the end of that staff!


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