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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Scott Pinkham
AIS 379
Seattle Campus

Powwow: Tradition and Innovation

Explores the historical and cultural roots of powwow. Discusses the ways this indigenous Native art form has adapted since prehistoric times.

Class description

Native American song and dance is one of the most indigenous of American art forms with time-honored traditions. Native American song and dance has not only served as a form of American Indian cultural preservation and resistance to colonialism, it has been a cultural tradition that has adapted and grown. One of the greatest forums for Native American dance is Powwow, but Powwow is more than song and dance alone. Within this class, students will learn about the history and traditions of Powwow, its various forms and cultural importance as well as other gatherings of Native people. Students will learn how Powwow has changed and adapted, how it resisted eradication by the U.S. government, and how it was influenced by non-Indian intervention. In addition, students can assist with the Annual Spring Powwow so as to have a firsthand experience on what it takes to coordinate a Powwow. By becoming familiar with Powwow, students will gain a window of study into more broad Native American issues such as representation, cultural adaptation, and Native sovereignty.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Instruction will come from lecture and class discussions, assigned readings, video, and interaction with First Nations @ UW student group that puts on the annual UW Spring Powwow.

Recommended preparation

None

Class assignments and grading

Readings, assisting with the spring powwow, volunteering at the Spring Powwow and short reflection essays.

Classroom participation, multiple choice/short answer quizzes, short reflection essays and exams.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Scott Pinkham
Date: 02/27/2014