Meskwaki Powwow Photo Gallery
Experience the annual Meskwaki Powwow in August each year at the Meskwaki Powwow Grounds in the Meskwaki Indian Settlement in Tama, Iowa. The Annual Meskwaki Powwow originated from the traditional religious and social beliefs of the Meskwaki Tribe. Today, it is not so much a religious event, but more of a social gathering. Specifically, today’s event is derived from the “Green Corn Dance” and other social events of the Tribe in their early years. The “Green Corn Dance” was an annual event that took place during the harvesting of crops. The “Field Days” held from 1902 to 1912, lasted about a week, with dancing, games, and horse racing. It was a social gathering without a harvest.
Origins of the Meskwaki Powwow
The Meskwaki Annual Powwow originated from traditional religious and social beliefs of the Meskwaki Tribe. The modern day Meskwaki Powwow is derived from the Green Corn Dance and other social events of the tribe in its early years. The “Green Corn Dance“ was an annual event that took place during the harvesting of crops, generally in August or occasionally in September if the corn crop matured late.
Gathering together, the tribe’s event was held during harvest where some of the crop would be cooked for the feasting that took place and the rest would be boiled and dried. The dried corn would then be place in sacks and buried in deep pits located in the summer homes of the tribe. The dancing and feasting that accompanied the harvest normally lasted two to three weeks. At times, it would be interspersed with horse racing, gambling and ball playing (games like Lacrosse, etc.) as well. After all the festivities were done, the families would scatter and go their separate ways, returning to their winter hunting grounds.