American Indian powwows are celebrations of Native American culture, heritage and traditions. They are a way for American Indians to come together to visit and keep their culture alive by dancing, singing and storytelling. Often open to the public, American Indian powwows provide opportunities to educate non-natives about their culture and traditions. While American Indian powwows occur year-round, the majority are held between Memorial Day and Labor Day throughout the USA and Canada. They are an important part of Native American life and fun for all who attend. For a list of powwows, see our American Indian Powwows Calendar.
The Men's Fancy dance (also referred to as Feather Dance) competition is considered the most spectacular of the men's Powwow dances. It is usually performed by younger, athletic dancers due to the strength and stamina required. Feather dance contest songs are generally short, with a very fast tempo. While all contest dancers need to know the songs to stop firmly on that last beat, it's particularly important for a feather dancer as 'nailing' the end of a very fast song is almost impossible without knowing the song.
Fancy Dance outfits worn at American Indian powwows are brightly colored, with fringes, ribbons or other items that move continuously to the movements of the dancer. The outfit includes a dance apron and headband with intricate beadwork, and two colorful feather bustles worn in back. Half leggings made from Angora goat or Icelandic sheep are worn at the calf and usually topped with sheep bells, and moccasins are also worn. Accessories include a porcupine roach with two feathers attached to rockers that move to the beat, and two arm bustles made from brightly colored feathers are also often worn in the Fancy Dance.
Crazy Crow Trading Post has long been your number one source for Native American Indian craft supplies for your powwow regalia and other needs. This photo gallery represents men's feather dance outfits, both Northern and Southern Plains, mostly taken at Gathering of Nations Powwow in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We thank Derek Matthews of Gathering of Nations, and others who have given permission to present these photos in this gallery.
Crazy Crow Trading Post - Craft Supplies for American Indian Powwows Regalia, Dance Clothes & Accessories!