Dartmouth Pow Wow

An annual event for more than half a century.

Every year at this time – for more than fifty years – Dartmouth hosts a Pow Wow. Native Americans from all over the region, and sometimes beyond, convene in Hanover for a day or two of traditional drumming and dancing. I always enjoy attending, in part for the beautiful nature of the event, with its colorful regalia and impressive drumming, singing and dancing. But also for the deep meaning that is conveyed by the gathering of members of so many Native American nations, coming together to celebrate their heritage, culture, and traditions.

Head dancers at the Dartmouth pow-wow.
Gitxaała headdress.

This weekend the weather has been spectacular, warm and sunny with a burst of spring flowers in sight in every direction. A huge crowd gathered on The Green to watch the opening session, which this year included an emotional ceremony in which Dartmouth’s Hood Museum repatriated a headdress to the Gitxaała Nation. Here to receive the headdress, which had long been in the Hood’s collection, was an elderly woman… whose grandfather had made this headdress decades earlier. I was honored to be part of that ceremony.

I’ve collected some of my favorite photos in a gallery. I recognize some of the dancers from 2022 and 2018!

Dartmouth Powwow

The 50th annual powwow at Dartmouth.

The weather was wonderful for the return of the Dartmouth Powwow, celebrating its 50th anniversary as one of the largest annual powwows in the country. The event was cancelled the past two years due to the pandemic, so it was especially gratifying to see this special event back on the Green – especially this year, as Dartmouth celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Native American Studies program at Dartmouth.

Beth Regan, vice chair of the Mohegan Council of Elders, in an honor dance with the Head Man and Head Lady dancers, at Dartmouth Pow-Wow 2022.

The event was also another opportunity to recognize the recent return of Samson Occom’s papers to the Mohegan Tribe; indeed, Beth Regan, vice chair of the Mohegan Council of Elders, was present to make some remarks in remembrance of that event.

For more photos, see the gallery.