A POW WOW is a Native American/First Nations social and cultural gathering, a time for Native American tribes — sometimes just one tribe, but more often many — to sing, dance, socialize and respect their communal traditions. Music features prominently at most pow wows — drumming around a big GATHERING DRUM, usually using long, wooden drumsticks called BEATERS, singing with enthusiastic joy. Dancers interplay with the singing and rhythm, taking cues from, and giving cues to, the musicians. Some tribes’ songs are 100% vocables. Songs of other tribes, like the Cree, Pikuni, Lakhota and Salish, often feature lyrics in Native languages.
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