This Pow Wow documentary was originally broadcast in 1995 from Twin Cities Public Television.

 Inside a wonderful Powwow in Minnesota. This public television documentary looks at what happens in the gathering of people--in a circle within a circle within a circle, profiling powwow dancers explanations of the dances, history and culture of the Mdewakanton Dakota Wacipi.

What is a Wacipi? Dancers, singers, and visitors from across the country will gather at the SMSC Annual Wacipi for a weekend of dancing, singing, visiting, and shopping in August. Wacipi is the Dakota word for pow wow.

Why does each Grand Entry begin with a prayer? As is customary, all Dakota gatherings begin with a prayer to the Creator.

Why are elders honored? Elders are held in high esteem in the Dakota culture. They have lived their lives, learning along the way, and gladly share their wisdom and insight with others. We have much to learn from our elders. Dancers who are elders are especially looked after and honored. Elders are invited to eat first at the dining tent.

What is an Honor Song? An Honor Song is sung for an individual who has passed into the Spirit World, graduated from school, received an accolade, or perhaps received an Indian name. Everyone is invited to come and pay their respects by gently shaking the hands of the family of the one honored and then joining the line behind them to finish the dance around the Arena.


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