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Pow wow

CMU's 33rd Annual "Celebrating Life" Pow wow

One of the best ways to experience Native American culture is at a Pow wow. Pow wows are the Native American people’s way of coming together to dance, sing, visit, share handmade crafts, make new friendships, and renew old ones.

Dancing and singing have been a very important part of Native American culture. As various tribes came together, they would share songs and dances with one another. Many songs today are sung in “vocables” with no words although there are still newly composed or revivals of old songs that are sung in Native American Languages. “Vocables” were used to replace the words of old songs so that singers from different tribes could join. The songs heard at a pow wow are reminders to the Indian people of their old ways and rich heritage and still hold special meaning to those that know them.

This year's Annual "Celebrating Life" Pow wow

  • March 19 & 20, 2022
  • John G. Kulhavi Events Center | McGuirk Arena
  • Join us for a cultural experience of singing, dance, arts & crafts, and food!
Grand Entries
  • Saturday 3/19 at 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm
  • Sunday 3/20 at 12:00 pm
  • Doors open at 11:00 a.m.

Purchase admission tickets!

CMU 33rd ANNual Celebrating Life Pow wow Logo

Download 2022 CMU Pow wow Flyer

Master of Ceremonies
  • Jason Whitehouse & Hannah Bartol
Host Drum
  • Bear Creek
Prize Payouts
  • Hand Drum Contest - 1st $500; 2nd $300; 3rd $100
  • Tiny Tots Dance Contest (0 to 5 yrs old) - Participation Gift
  • Youth (JR) Dance Contest (6 to 11 yrs old) - 1st $200; 2nd $150; 3rd $100
  • Teen Dance Contest (12 to 17 yrs old) - 1st $300; 2nd $250; 3rd $200
  • Adult Dance Contest (18 to 49 yrs old) - 1st $500; 2nd $400; 3rd $300
  • Golden Age Dance Contest (50 yrs old & up) - 1st $500; 2nd $400; 3rd $300

Most dances seen at Pow wows today are social dances that might have had different meanings in earlier days. Although dance styles and content have changed, their meaning and importance have not. The outfits or regalia’s worn by the dancers, like the styles of clothing today evolve over time, it is not a stagnant culture, but a vibrant and changing way of life. -

CMU Pow wow celebrates Native American tradition