Saturday, August 6, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

Pow wow – Men VS Women


The Pow wow is one of the oldest traditional events in North America. More precisely, it is a specific event for the First Nation people, with the purpose to honor their culture by dancing and singing. Knowing that in the majority of human traditions men's and women's roles are distinct, I expected the same before going to my first Powwow in Pemberton, but after a few hours watching native men, women and children, dancing and playing music, I came to the conclusion that their attitudes and roles were similar. Nevertheless, some differences exist.

First, concerning the technical aspect of the dance, the movements of the whole body were similar, but the women were dancing most of the time on their tiptoes and the men on their heels. Most of the participants were dancing alone; I observed only one or two couples, even during the dances where everyone could participate. The “competition” dances (the goal of which was to elect the best dancer) were only between same-sex opponents.

The majority of the percussionists and singers were men, but that does not mean that the women were excluded. Their costumes (mocassins, warm colors, textures etc.) were pretty similar, except that the men's costumes were full of feathers, whereas on the women's costumes we could see more bells and sequins. I was happy to see that the makeup was not used only by the women but used by everyone like a real element of each costume.

My first Pow wow will remain in my memory as one of the most beautiful events I have ever seen, asthetically and spiritually. I felt a respectful atmosphere, where the equality between men and women was considered, as well as the acceptance of the differences.

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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