When is the Pow wow?
Where is the Pow wow located?
Will there be Camping Available?
Will there be showers on site for campers?
Where should I park?
Does it Cost anything?
Where can I found out what the Dance “Specials” will be?
What is a “coming out”?
Can Spectators dance/participate in the Pow wow?
What is a Regalia?
Can I take Pictures?
What is a Pow Wow?
What is a “Grand Entry”?
What is a Flag Song?
What is an Honor Song?
What are the different Dance styles?
How do Royalty dancers get their titles?
How can I Help?

When is the Pow wow?

The Seafair Indian Days Pow Wow takes place July 15-17, 2016. (Fri-Sun).

  • Friday, July 15th. Grand entry will be at 7:00pm. (Coastal Grand Entry at 6:00pm).
  • Saturday, July 16th: Grand Entries will be at 12:00 Noon & 7:00pm (Coastal Grand Entry 11:00am)
  • Sunday, July 17th: Grand Entry will be at 12:00 Noon.

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Where is the Pow wow located?

The pow wow will be held at the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center.

  • 5011 Bernie Whitebear Way, Seattle, WA 98199  (Directions: Click here)

Where should I park?

The Event will be held at the Circle in the upper field. Parking will be located at the NORTH Parking Lot.

Will there be Camping Available?

Yes, Camping will be available. It is $25 for the weekend. Security will be issuing camping permits at the drive-in gate.

Will there be showers on-site for campers?

Yes the Showers are located in the same area as previous years. If you need help locating them, ask a volunteer or security at the camp or pow wow grounds.

Does it Cost anything?

Friday Night is FREE admission.
Saturday & Sunday it is small admission fee of $5 (12yrs +).

Note:The admission fee is to help offset the cost of operation for the pow wow. The cost to hold this Cultural Celebration and Community Educational event is $100,000+ each year. This includes the rental of equipment such as speakers, bleachers, stage equipment, permits, security, generators, lavatory units, the contest payout to dancers, drum day pay and much more. Without these, the pow wow would cease to continue.

Where can I found out what the Dance “Specials” will be?

You can find the “Special” listed on the Facebook event page: Facebook Event 

Note: “Specials” refer to special contests sponsored by the pow wow committee or community member(s) or families. For example, sometimes Outgoing Royalty will have a special, where the family sponsors a contest of their choosing. Or a family is sponsor a special contest in honor of a loved one or for a dancers “coming out”.

What is a “coming out”?

A dancers Coming out refers to that dancer joining the dance circle as a serious dancer. A dancer can have a coming out special at any age.

Can Spectators dance/participate in the Pow wow? 

Yes. Everyone is welcome to dance in the Intertribal Dance – even tourists! Listen for when the Emcee announces an “Intertribal” dance, please come join dancers in the dance circle. Rounds of Intertribal dancing usually take place between the contest dances.

What is a Regalia?

Regalia is the proper term to use when referring to a dancers outfit. Please do not call it a costume. Dancers may find it offensive.

Can I take Pictures? 

It is permissible to take pictures during much of the pow wow. If you are not sure always ask, since taking pictures of some activities is not allowed. Please ask dancers if it is OK to take his/her picture before hand. Some dancers may refuse to accept any money in exchange for taking a photo with him or her, others might ask for that money be placed in the pow wow donation box in support of the event.

Note: During certain ceremonial dances, honor dances or prayers the announcer may request that no pictures be taken. Please abide by the announcer’s request.

What is a Pow Wow?

A Pow Wow is a gathering where Native American dancing, singing and celebration take place. It is a special time for people to gather and celebrate, meet old friends and create new friendships. In early times, hunters would invite their friends and relatives to share their good fortune. As time went on, while the meal was being prepared, relatives would dance to honor their host. Eventually, the dancing became the main focus of the event. Participants began to use this time to display their weaving, quill work and other finery. Pow wows also had religious significance. They were an opportunity for families to hold naming and honoring ceremonies. Pow wows have changed over the years. However, they are still gatherings where Indian people can share part of their tribal traditions and culture. But they should not be confused with other tribal customs and ceremonies that are not performed or shared in public gatherings. Pow wows have changed over the years. However, they are still gatherings where Indian people can share part of their tribal traditions and culture. Today, pow wows, or celebrations, are still very much part of the lives of many Native Americans. In the Northern Area, the pow wow season can begin as early as March; from June through September several pow wows, also called celebrations, take place—somewhere—every weekend. Many families pack up and go on the circuit, camping out and enjoying the celebration activities, singing, dancing and seeing friends they may not have seen since the previous season. A pow wow may have dancing and singing contests, “give aways,” encampments, feasting and other cultural activities. In present times, activities such as handgames (stick games), horse races, softball tournaments, parades, pow wow princess contests and other events have been added. Most religious ceremonies are no longer part of the pow wows. For instance, naming ceremonies are now more often conducted in the privacy of a family; however, some small pow wows do include naming ceremonies. Honoring ceremonies and ceremonies for a dropped eagle feather remain today.

What is a “Grand Entry”?

Although pow wows may differ, depending on the location or type, the following is the system used by the Seafair Indian Days Pow Wow and many other pow wows. First the eagle staff is carried into the circle, followed by the American, Canadian, state and tribal flags, followed by the Veterans, Head man & Head woman dancers, title holders from tribal pageants. Next followed by Golden Age dancers Men’s category, Women’s category, then Adult Men’s Categories (Traditional, Grass, Fancy) followed by Adult Women’s categories (Traditional, Jingle, Fancy), teen boys and girls, Junior boys and girls, finally tiny tots.

What is a Flag Song? 

When the Grand Entry song ends, there is a flag song, an equivalent of the National anthem. Everyone will be asked to stand and remove hats, unless the hat has an eagle feather attached.

What is an Honor Song?

Note: Spectators should always stand and remove their caps or hats during and Honor Song. As the name suggests, Honor Songs are requested at the pow wow/celebration to honor someone. Perhaps a family would request an honor song for a community member who is sick or in memory of a deceased relative.

 What are the different Dance styles?

  •  Men’s Traditional dance is just that: a traditional dance held over from times when war parties would return to the village and dance out the story of the battle, or hunters would return and dance their story of tracking an enemy or prey. Tradition dancers wear a circular bustle of eagle feathers, representing cycles and the unity of everything. The eagle feather spikes on the bustle point upward, representing a channel between the Great Spirit and all things on earth. Traditional dancers often carry shields, weapons, honor staffs and medicine wheels.
  • Men’s Fancy dance is a relatively new dance. Fancy Dancers wear brightly colored feather bustles. This dance is based on the standard double step of the traditional grass dances but it takes off from there with fancy footwork, increased speed, acrobatic steps and motions, and varied body movements. The Fancy Dance is also a freestyle kind of dance.
  • Men’s Grass dance is very popular. Dancer’s outfits feature a good deal of colorful fringe and many wear the hair roach. The Dance involves the ball of one foot being tapped on one beat and places down flatly with the next and repeated with the other foot without missing a beat. The dancers should also keep their heads moving either up or down with the beat.
  • Women’s Traditional dance is a very proud and regal dance. The women’s traditional often includes the Coast Salish and Alaskan dancers in this Category. Regalia’s are made up of either fully beaded buckskin tops, Cloth long fringe, or coastal button blankets. The temp and steps are often slower than other dances and the movement is a steady short step or sometimes stationary.
  • Women’s Fancy Shawl dance is a relatively new addition to the dance competition. The outfit consists of a decorative knee-length cloth dress, beaded moccasins with matching leggings, a fancy shawl and various pieces of jewelry. The dance itself is similar to the mens fancy dance , and the style is moving toward more movement and especially spinning. Footwork is the chief element of the dance.
  • Women’s Jingle dance according to one account, originated from a holy mans dream of 4 women wearing jingle dresses appeared before him. The dress spread out from the Ojibway territories. The dress consists traditionally of 365 metal cones or jingles and symbolize each day of the year. Contemporary dresses will have various amounts of jingles.

Click Here to view video clips of our previous Seafair pow wows

How do Royalty dancers get their titles?

A relatively new addition to the pow wow scene is the Royalty Contest. Many pow wows hold a Princess and Warrior contest for young women or men to represent their tribes, communities or cultural groups. Since Indian tribes do not have royalty the Princess designation is in name only.

How can I Help? 

VOLUNTEERS. Seafair pow wow can always use happy energetic volunteers. If you are a student who is looking to join a college pow wow committee and would like to get some experience in the working of a pow wow, sign up to volunteer! If you are looking to learn more about the culture and would like to connect with our great urban Native community sign up to volunteer! If you would like to build or working out doors sign up to volunteer for set up and break down! There are many different opportunities for Volunteers! Email our Volunteer Coordinator for more information at: pwvolunteers@unitedindians.org 

Download application here: Volunteer Application 2016.

DONATIONS. If you had a good time at this pow wow or attended in prior years and would like to contribute to the pow wow. Donations are accepted via donation boxes at the event or online at anytime via Paypal:

Support the preservation of this Cultural Celebration and community educational event: CONTRIBUTE NOW