Due to circumstances beyond their control, the remainder of the 102nd Annual Meskwaki Powwow has been cancelled. This will affect Friday through Sunday’s planned events.
The Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa (A.K.A. the Meskwaki Nation) is the only federally recognized tribe in Iowa. They hold cultural events like the Annual Powwow to share with others what is truly distinctive about the Meskwaki way of life, while promoting equality and encouraging cultural awareness. The Meskwaki consider the Powwow as a time of reaffirmation of hope, of kinship and friendship, and of celebration. They regret its cancellation.
Originally known as the “Green Corn Dance”, the Meskwaki Annual Powwow is a time of celebration historically associated with harvest. It is held on the southernmost portion of the Settlement, adjacent to the Iowa River, which often sees flooding during portions of heavy rainfall.
Because of the color and intrigue of the Powwow, it began attracting attention over the years with the outside world. Although they had been celebrating the harvest together as a tribe for many years, the Meskwaki saw the interest of the outside community and determined that it would be a great way to showcase their unique way of life and promote cultural unity at the same time. So in 1913, they changed the event’s name to “powwow” and began inviting others to attend. Since then, it has become a celebration that everyone looks forward to attending each year.
Although they regret the cancellation of the remainder of the 102nd annual event, they are optimistic that through events like this others will walk away with open hearts and open minds, able to respect and learn from cultures such as theirs. They thank you for your understanding and look forward to seeing you next year at the 103’rd Annual Meskwaki Powwow.
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. In 1912, the Chief appointed 15 men to plan for the next year. The appointed men decided to change the name from “Field Days” to “Powwow”. The first powwow was held at the present location.
Today, the Meskwaki Powwow is the only one of its kind and is held annually on the only Indian Settlement in the State of Iowa. During the four day affair, the gathered Indians celebrate and perform, in full-dress regalia, dances that have been handed down for generations. It is the dancing that has drawn the most attention from the outside world, for it is by far the most colorful and intriguing aspect of the Powwow. It is a time of reaffirmation and hope, of worship and kinship, and, above all, a time of friendship and making new friends.