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UMD Powwow 2024

UMD Powwow

UMD Powwow 2024: Saturday March 2nd. Ritchie Coliseum.


Powwow is a Native gathering, where those from various tribal backgrounds can celebrate their culture, life, and each other’s company. It is an exciting time that often includes dancing, drumming, food, contests, and other activities. Powwows serve as a way to keep traditions alive and educate the future generations, while also sharing Native culture with others. All attendees must be respectful and follow the rules, but everyone is welcomed! 


We are grateful for the support of the Division of Student Affairs, the Office of Graduate Diversity and Inclusion, Arts for All and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion! 

Get Involved with the Powwow: 

Vendor Application

Vendor Application will close on Feb 15, 2024 at 5pm EST. 

Vendors will receive a committee decision on Feb 16, 2024 at 12pm EST! 

Vendor Application

Dancer Registration

We are able to offer day pay for the first 30 dancers who register! 

Register Here!

Volunteer at the Powwow

We are using Sign-up Genius to register volunteers! Any and all support is welcome. 

Volunteer Link

2024 Event Information: 

Please see below for schedule and parking information!

Schedule & Activity Descriptions

Time Activity Description
11:00AM Doors Open, Vendors Open
11:30AM Color Guard & Special Guest Roll Call Preparation for Grand Entry
11:45AM Drum Roll Call & Dancer Line Up Preparation for Grand Entry
12:00PM Grand Entry & Welcome Grand Entry is when the dancers enter into the arena, please follow guidance provided by the Master of Ceremonies for when to stand and sit out of respect. Welcome remarks and introduction of special guests.
12:30PM Intertribal & Spot Dances Intertribal is a dance where everyone is encouraged to dance(even visitors). After the intertribal, the arena director will follow the MC directions to a random spot and the closest person wins a prize. Audience participation is encouraged!
12:45PM Potato Dance Special The Potato Dance is a fun and social tradition, where two people dance with a potato positioned in between both their foreheads. The goal is to keep moving to the music and not to let the potato drop. If it does, the competitors must leave the dance floor. The last pair left with the potato still in place wins!
1:00PM Men & Women's Dance Exhibition This is an exhibition or showcase of the various dancer categories.
1:30PM Candy Dance & Tiny Tot Exhibition The Candy Dance invites all children into the arena. In order for the kids to get the candy, they must be very good listeners and follow the MC's directions. The Tiny Tot Exhibition is a showcase of all the youngest dancers.
1:50PM First Time In Circle Ceremony This is an introduction ceremony for a tribal community member's first time in the arena ceremony.
2:10PM Dancer/Drummer Break & Appreciation Dancers and drummers will take a break at this time. Appreciation: During this time, the powwow committee will be thanking community partners, sponsors, etc.
2:45PM Hoop Dance Performance by Angela Gladue A Hoop Dance performance and an invitation to learn a routine on the spot.(audience participation encouraged!)
3:15PM Intertribal & Spot Dance Intertribal is a dance where everyone is encouraged to dance(even visitors). After the intertribal, the arena director will follow the MC directions to a random spot and the closest person wins a prize. Audience participation is encouraged!
3:30PM Sweetheart Special The Sweetheart Special is a couple dance. This couples will showcase their dance and love for one another. This is a contest dance and judges will determine a 1st-3rd place winner.
3:45PM Last Intertribal & Spot Dance Intertribal is a dance where everyone is encouraged to dance(even visitors). After the intertribal, the arena director will follow the MC directions to a random spot and the closest person wins a prize. Audience participation is encouraged!
4:00PM Round Dances Round dances are social dances and are used for a variety of gatherings. To conclude the dancing portion of the powwow, we will close with traveling and friendship round dances. Audience participation is encouraged!
4:30PM Closing Remarks The powwow committee will share brief closing remarks.
4:45PM Retire Flags and Closing Song This signifies the closing of the powwow
5:00PM Powwow Concludes Thank you so much for coming and travel safely!

Parking Information: 

Please plan for plenty of extra time due to campus construction. 

Free Parking: 

Lots J1 (Behind The Hotel)- 5-8 minute walk

J2 (Behind Ritchie) - 1-2 minute walk

L (Around Reckord Armory) - 5-8 minute walk

C1 (Visitor Center) - 3-5 minute walk

S9 (Near Thurgood Marshall Hall)  - (5-8 min walk) 


Pay-to-Park Location: 

Regents Drive Garage ($15/day) 10-15 minute walk to Ritchie. 


Accessible Parking: 

Accessible parking is limited and there are some handicap parking spaces outside of Ritchie Coliseum, Visitors Center, and Thurgood Marshall Hall. 


Parking Map Key: 

Green color spaces: Free Parking on Weekends

Yellow Color Lines: Construction 

Parking Map Key with various symbols indicating specific signs on campusParking map with Lots highlighted to indicate construction and free parking on weekend spaces

Who can attend the powwow? 

All are welcome! Powwows are a time of celebration, and welcome to those who have native or non-native backgrounds. It is a great opportunity to support Native artists, try Native food, learn about different cultures, and celebrate Native heritage. 


What should I wear? 

Dress appropriately and comfortably. Avoid any clothing that would be considered offensive or inappropriate. 


Can spectators participate?

Yes, there will be an opportunity for everyone to participate. An “Intertribal” dance is where all attendees can dance, the MC will let you know when that time is. Whether you are native or non-native, everyone can join in!


Can I take pictures/record videos?

Some moments in a powwow should not be recorded. Pay attention to the MC, to know when is an appropriate time to take pictures or record videos. Always ask for permission from individuals if you want to take a picture or video of them. 


Can I ask questions? 

It’s okay to not understand something, especially if this is your first time attending a powwow. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and engage in conversations with dancers, vendors, or other participants. Be respectful, enjoy yourself, and have a wonderful time! 

-Listen to the Master of Ceremonies(MC)

The MC manages the Pow Wow, ensuring it stays on schedule and maintains protocol and decorum. 

-The Circle

Serves as the hub for activities, and is considered sacred ground once blessed with smudging(burning of sage). The circle should be treated with the utmost respect and honor. Entry is through invitation only, do not walk across it! 

-Arena Director

The guardian of the circle, ensuring order and overseeing all activities within. 

-Photography and Videography 

Generally is allowed but always ask for permission first! Some ceremonies are sacred and do not allow any kind of photography. Check in with the host, MC, and whoever you want to record. 


Participants wear ceremonial clothing known as “Regalia”. It is not a “costume”, it is a genuine expression of cultural traditions. Please refrain from touching a dancer’s regalia without their permission. Regalia can be family heirlooms, created by the dancer themselves or family and friends. It is always important to be respectful towards the cultural and personal significance of a dancer’s regalia. 

-The Drum 

The heartbeat of the Pow Wow, essential for dancing and the event overall. “The Drum” refers to both the instrument and the Singers that surround it. 


Everyone is welcomed! Guests are expected to observe, ask questions, shop, eat, and more, while respecting the traditions and culture by listening and following the MC’s guidance and rules of conduct. Respect everyone and treat everyone with kindness! 


Common Men’s Dances

  • Include Men’s Traditional Dance, Men’s Fancy Dance, and Grass Dance. Each of these dances have unique movements and narratives. 


Common Women’s Dances

  • Include Women’s Traditional Dance, Women’s Fancy Shawl, and Women’s Jingle Dress Dance. These dances are mostly narrative and symbolic. 


Social Dances

  • Dances such as Intertribal and Round Dance offer an opportunity for all, guests included, to step into the circle and join together in unity. 


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