What is the Black Hills Powwow?
The Black Hills Powwow or He Sapa Wacipi is one of North America’s premier indigenous cultural events. Held annually in Rapid City, South Dakota, the hundreds of participating dancers, drummers, artisans, and athletes represent native tribes from across the Great Plains. This event presents a unique opportunity for non-tribal members to observe and learn about First Nations culture. Events such as these are also essential for maintaining and passing on traditions, customs, and language to younger generations.
Need to Know
While open to the public it is extremely important that attendees follow the etiquette guidelines and be led by the Master of Ceremonies. Visitors should never touch any clothing or accessories of tribal members without being invited to do so. Participant’s clothing should always be referred to as regalia, never a ‘costume.’
Did You Know?
Wacipi (wa-CHEE-pee) is the Dakota/Lakota/Nakota word for dance or powwow and is a traditional celebration that can last for several days. Most powwows feature drummers and dancers dressed in fine traditional regalia, some of which can take years to make and include decorations with deep tribal or family meaning.
Coronavirus is causing a number of event cancellations; we provide event website links on each page for you to check the latest updates.
See our Coronavirus page here.
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