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What to Expect at the Black Hills Powwow

In Lakota Sioux, the word for beautiful is “hopa.” Home to nine Native American tribes, South Dakota has many natural landmarks that are not only beautiful, but are sacred to the indigenous people of the plains. Of all the Native American events, the Black Hills Powwow is the best known. The Black Hills Powwow is set to run from October 9-11 at the Rapid City’s Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

For American Indian cultural events in the United States, powwows, and specifically the Black Hills Powwow, are definitely the ones to attend. Each year, it attracts hundreds of singers, artisans, dancers, and thousands of people who enjoy the wonder and beauty of the arts. The Powwow also provides a highly anticipated opportunity for the Native American community to share their culture with others and interact with other tribes.
The event is filled with exciting sights, including a fine arts show, the He Sapa Win pageant, the wellness symposium for youth, and different athletic tournaments such as hand games, softball, golf, and archery. For both locals and out-of-towners, the Powwow offers a way to interact with and learn about the Native American culture firsthand.

Why Go to the Black Hills Powwow?

A Powwow (which literally means “a meeting”) is a social gathering of Native American communities that come together to sing, socialize, dance, and honor their ancestors as well as their culture. Begun by Grass Dance Societies as a way for warriors to re-enact their deeds of bravery in battle, powwows have been going on in the Great Plains since the early 19th century.
Modern powwows, while more commercially leaning than their predecessors, are definitely worth the visit. There is a wealth of Native American history and culture, as well as appreciation of the culture as art. All of the nine different Native American tribes in South Dakota participate, including the following:
1. Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
2. Crow Creek Sioux Tribe
3. Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe
4. Lower Brule Sioux Tribe
5. Oglala Sioux Tribe
6. Rosebud Sioux Tribe
7. Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate
8. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
9. Yankton Sioux Tribe

As tribes that may have previously been at war with one another began to find that they were neighbors, they started practicing inter-tribalism, sharing their music, food, clothing and art.  Powwows became a symbol of their uniqueness and solidarity, an opportunity to show off their culture, interact with each other, and share the wisdom of their tribes; it was also a time to celebrate.

When at the Black Hills Powwow

As with any cultural event, attendees must be respectful of the Native American code of conduct. Visitor etiquette is strongly advised as it ensures that offenses are not give. Different tribes each have their own traditions, and all powwow participants are highly respectful of those traditions.
As with any live concert or performance, there are policies, rules and regulations for taking pictures, video, or audio recording; and even sketching at the powwow. It is strongly recommended that anyone interested should ask for permission beforehand.

It is also important to not that special attention must be paid that artifacts left at prayer sites or other sites of worship are not taken. Under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, all Native American artifacts are protected by law, and theft of these can count as legal violations and lead to hefty fines.

Staying in Rapid City - Get Hotels Early

Planning for the Black Hills Powwow begins early, with many gearing up for it a year in advance. If you’re thinking of attending the Black Hills Powwow in Rapid City, it is a good idea to look up the best Rapid City hotels as quickly as possible. As one of the best-attended powwows in the nation, it draws thousands of people, both local and out-of-state, and hotel rooms can be hard to find if left to the last minute.

Book a Room at The Foothills Inn

If you are looking for the right Rapid City hotels to stay in, book your room with The Foothills Inn. The hotel has all the luxury amenities you need, including:
-A swimming pool to chill in after South Dakota’s hot days and nights
-Dog-friendly rooms for any traveler and their four-legged friends
-Special offers and more that make staying here a treat for you

The Foothills Inn is situated in Rapid City, SD, and located close to every major landmark, which makes it perfect for anyone attending the Black Hills Powwow.  The close proximity to this culturally diverse event makes The Foothills Inn the perfect choice for you.

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