Paw-paus – verses new age powwows- 1-0-1?

Part one of two parts.

It is time once again to create some enemies?

Read on to see why.

A blog in two parts, this one is about the ancestors original gatherings they called Paw- paus( pow-waous) and then compare it with part two of two the New Age Powwow’s, sometimes called Intertribal?

This would help you understand just why elders like ‘yours truly’ tend to get so upset when it comes to truth or fiction when explaining our people, culture, ceremonies, our ancestors and the past?

This is a posting on the original structure or setup, of how my elders, now ancestors, laid out and enjoyer their gatherings.


All of the Paw- paus are of the Eastern Woodland area up and down the east coast only, so they are always of a Matriarch Society design?

It is the responsibility, charged by Shechaim (Sachem) to our Head Clan Mother and Head Veteran, “time for our Paw-paus”.

Head Clan Mother assemble the best of the tribe for the particular job at hand, remember in our tribe each of these people now become chiefs until the Paw-paus is over and everything is cleaned, cleared and stored correctly until the next time needed.

Each chief, male or female is in charge of a particular project.

The first assignment of this group of people, assuming that they have a place picked out, at preparing the gathering would be finding the best spot in the west for a Sacred Fire and then cleaning and clearing the spot for the Sacred Circle.

In order to save space on this posting please refresh your memories as needed on these two past postings?

Firekeeper/Keeper of the Circle

Keeper of the Fire After Grand Entry


Hope that you start to notice the first major change from original to new age at this point and on?

This is a gathering that my ancestors enjoyed and by my people for many centuries!

This gathering is for members of the tribe, their family, friends and invited guests.

Remember that old saying?


What I am saying is that all are invited, in good faith, to join the gathering, never to run or interrupt our gathering?

I say this because we have for many years allowed others to push their belief over our beliefs!

O K back to Paw-paus

Because this is of a Matriarch and not a Patriarchy Society, women are first in line to be smudged at the Sacred fire in the west and first at the circle in the east.

The smudging at the fire was always tobacco (Kinnick, Kinnick), no need for a smudging fire, towards the end of the 1940’s Sage and Sweet Grass was also allowed.

All tribal Staffs from any tribe throughout Indian country along with all approved flags, as long as they give a courtesy notification within a reasonable time set by the Head Veteran before Grand Entry to allow the group time to make a respectable place of honor for each staff and flag?

Just before Grand Entry, Staffs and Flags were walked in around and on to the place of honor, no fan fair, no recordings of any kind until all are in place, strictly enforced.

Grand Entry started with a Traditional drum respect to women called the Women’s song, all drums joined in for this and everyone at the Paw-paus stood if possible, with a feather salute until all of the women were dancing in place around the circle.

At the ending of each days gatherings a 2nd Women’s song and our traditional women were danced out the east again with the feather salute (feather Salute Bird of Prey Feathers) no one dropped the salute or left the area until the last traditional woman passed through the east.

Next, the veterans, all are encouraged native and non native, to dance the circle by starting with the earliest in battles ( since WW-1, the word battles was changed to war as in WW-1, WW-2, Korean, Vietnam and so on), followed by all remaining female dancers, followed by warriors, last would always be the Shechaim being danced in with War Chiefs and elders carrying POW-MIA flags and a flag with the names of our fallen warriors.

Note, POW MIA an Name Flag are then placed at the east.

A name flag has the names of fallen service people of the tribe however, any tribe should dance their name flags along with the Shechaim.

Remember that at all Paw-paus dancers are in Sacred Regalia, absolutely no recording until announced, also strictly enforced!

Never a charge because they are usually on members property, if not and needed a donation bucket is set someplace with an explanation, all venders pay only for electric and/or water if using and must be inspected if food venders.


The friends of members danced in would also include any creation (pets and so on) as long as this creation would not interrupt the gathering as in fighting amount themselves.

There is no need for a rodeo arena director because one if not both the Head Clan Mother along with her many clan helpers plus the Head Veteran is at hand for questions and/ or problems.