An Ancient Bond with the Land

Trade Fairs

Trade Today

The Euro-American fur trade and modern commerce gradually replaced ancient trade patterns. Since World War II, Aboriginal celebratory gatherings have become popular again. The modern pow-wow, for example, is a festival combining traditional and contemporary customs. Although drumming and dancing are now the main focus, trade remains an associated activity.

In 2002, there were hundreds of pow-wows across North America, attracting tens of thousands of people. Large pow-wows are attended by people from all over the continent.

"We thank the creator for bringing us together to celebrate the good ways."

An Elder speaking at a 2001 pow-wow

Pow-Wows  ( 4 minutes 38 seconds )

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Pow-wows are organized well in advance and advertised widely through posters, calendars, mailings and Web sites. Singing, drumming, dancing and spectacular regalia are the focus of the event. There are also feasting, special ceremonies and give-aways, sales booths for various kinds of merchandise, raffles, prayers, speeches and participants' encampments. Sometimes, pow-wows are held in association with rodeos, horse races and sports tournaments.

Credits for Pow-Wows
© Canadian Museum of Civilization, First Peoples Hall, Zone 3, Contemporary Epilogues

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