Midwest SOARRING Foundation Pow Wows
Midwest SOARRING Foundation welcomes everyone to the festivities of their traditional intertribal pow wows. Over many years our foundation has sponsored many local pow wows in northern Illinois. The largest of these is the the Annual Harvest Pow Wow held in August or September in the Chicago area. (The first ten years of the Annual Harvest Pow Wow were held in Mokena, IL.)
Pow wows are a time to celebrate life, renew friendships, and share our Native American culture through dance, drumming, art, story telling, and song. The drum, as the heartbeat of Mother Earth, holds a special place beside the arena. Several groups - the host and invited drums - share the honor of singing and drumming at our events. The emcee welcomes everyone to the pow wow circle, introducing the different dances and drums. He is assisted by the arena director. The pow wow opens each day with a grand entry lead by veterans carrying flags, and followed by all the dancers dressed in bright regalia characteristic to their specific dance.
Beyond the pow wow arena is an array of vendors displaying and selling Native American arts and crafts. Native American tacos and other refreshments can be purchased. A children's activity tent offers arts and crafts and the opportunity to flintknapp (make an arrowhead). Other special features take place throughout the weekend. Our pow wows provide a unique experience for the entire family.
Pow Wow Etiquette
To help you understand the traditional etiquette of pow wows so that you are able to fully participate and enjoy the event, we offer the following list:
- Always stand during special songs. This includes Grand Entry, Flag Songs, Veteran Songs, Memorial Songs, Prayer Songs, or any other song that the M.C. designates. It is also customary to remove hats for the duration of the song.
- Ask permission before taking pictures of individual dancers. Many people are sensitive about being photographed, so we respect their dignity and right to privacy. Group pictures, except when prohibited by the M.C., are permitted in the dance arena.
- Donate money during blanket dances. These are dances called to collect money for special causes announced by the M.C. It is customary to place a dollar bill, or more as desired, on the blanket laid out in the arena, and to join in the dance.
- Always listen to the M.C. He will give you all the information you need, as well as entertain you and keep you posted on when you can and cannot take photos. Any questions you have can be answered by him.
- Feel free to talk to the dancers outside the arena. They can answer your questions about their regalia, dances and culture.
- Do not tape any songs without the permission of the head singer of a drum.
- Do not touch an eagle feather that has fallen to the ground. If you see one, notify a pow wow official. There are ceremonies performed regarding the return of a fallen eagle feather.
- Feel free to join in the intertribal dancing. The M.C. will announce when dancing is open for everyone to join in.