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Top Powwows to Experience Native American Culture

Elaborate regalia, choreographed dances, delicious food and tempting craft vendors create a dazzling way to introduce visitors to Native American culture. These well-known powwows attract groups ready to experience the richness of tribal America.

 

Gathering of Nations

Late April in Albuquerque, New Mexico

The nation’s biggest Native American event draws more than 3,500 dancers and 150,000 spectators for what has been called “the Super Bowl of powwows.” The event begins with a parade of dancers and drummers from more than 500 tribes in traditional regalia. For three days, groups can listen to contemporary indigenous music, sample Native American fare and watch the popular Miss Indian World pageant.

Red Earth Festival

Early June in Oklahoma City

One of the top powwows in the country, the Red Earth Festival showcases more than 1,200 Native American artists and dancers from more than 200 tribes. Guests can witness several dramatic festival events, such as a fancy feather dancing contest, a juried art show of Native American works and an elaborate downtown parade. The American Bus Association named the powwow a Top 100 Event in North America.

 Moundville Native American Festival

Mid-October in Moundville, Alabama

This Alabama event celebrates Southeast Native American heritage and culture. At the University of Alabama’s Moundville Archaeological Park, the event features hoop dancing, demonstrations of pottery firing and hands-on workshops that teach skills such as how to throw an atlatl.

United Tribes International Powwow

Early September in Bismarck, North Dakota

The United Tribes International Powwow draws more than 1,500 dancers from 70 tribes. The festival ranks as one of the largest events in the area. Many attend the event for its powwow contests, professional regalia and high-caliber craft vendors. The 50th annual powwow will be held September 6-9, 2019.

www.powwows.com

Eliza Myers

Eliza Myers has worked for The Group Travel Leader since 2007. She is the online editor and associate editor for Select Traveler.

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