How does a powwow function as an intertribal cultural device?
A pow wow serves as the reason for gathering together members of the hosting tribe who may have moved away and visits from members of other tribal groups. During the time of the pow wow, which may last from a few hours to several days, participants share in various activities reflecting the cultural heritage of their tribes, including dance, music, foods, arts and crafts, and general interaction.
Pow wows may be directed for one particular tribe or may be planned as inter-tribal events. Participants may compete for prizes in dance competitions, using traditional dances and costumes as basis for judging. Pow wows allow participants to share pride in their heritage with other native Americans and with those of other cultures who come to observe, learn, shop, and participate - depending on the activity and the particular function of any specific pow wow.
A powwow is a community gathering or festival hosted by one or more tribes. These festivals are used to celebrate both the unique culture of each tribe and the common culture of all tribes. Contests allow dancers to compete with each other in the same dance category. Intertribal dances allow dancers from any tribe or dance category to dance. In order for American Indians to continue to keep their traditions and cultures intact, they must work together to show non-Indians what being an Indian looks like. Even though. they live just like everyone else, there is an image that non-Indians expect and if you visit a powwow, you will not be able to distinquish any tribe from another because they all wear similar styled regalia to keep up the intertribal aspect of their culture.