Utah State University Logo

Access and Diversity Center


Facebook Twitter You Tube RSS

Transcendence: Abstraction and Symbolism in the American West

Sept. 1, 2015 – May 7, 2016 Highlighting works from…


Abstraction and the Dreaming: Australian Aboriginal Paintings

Sept. 12 – Dec. 11, 2015 Sept. 12 - Dec. 12 The…


Clothesline Project

The Clothesline Project is part of Domestic Violence…


The Resilient Student: Moving from Surviving to Thriving

Research-based steps to help deal with and conquer the…


Corn Maze on the Farm -- American West Heritage Center

Corn Maze on the Farm. Begins Sept. 25 - Oct. 31 Closed…

More events

43rd Annual USU Pow Wow

Members of the USU Native American Student Council (NASC) are proud to announce the 43rd Annual "Echoing Traditional Ways", to be held February 26th and 27th.

History and Explanation of the Pow Wow

Traditionally, Pow Wow's served a number of functions. They were held in the spring to celebrate the new beginning of life. Honoring warriors, personal achievements, and ceremonies for dropped eagle feathers are still part of Pow Wows today. The Pow-Wow preserves a deep, lasting sense of family, pride and tradition. Behind the display of dance, music and vibrant regalia are sacred legends and meanings.

Competition Dancing

The dance competition aspect was added to the Pow Wow around 1920. Dancers are judged on dance skill, regalia, sportsmanship, and body and footwork. Prize money is awarded to the person with the most points at the culmination of the Pow Wow.

The circle

The circle is an important symbol to Native American people. The dancers are in the center of the circle, the drums and the audience form a circle around the gathering. The Pow Wow brings the circle of the people closer together-closer to their family, friends, and culture.

People of the Pow Wow

Registered contestants participate in the dancing contests, but when the announcer calls an "Intertribal dance," everyone is encouraged to participate. You don't need a traditional outfit to participate; you can dance in your street clothes. Everyone has a place in the circle of people.

Drum Groups

The drum groups are the sacred heartbeat of the Pow Wow, setting the rhythm of each dance. One drum group will be selected as the "host drum" and that group will perform for the Grand Entry songs and any honor songs. Each drum group has 8-10 accompanying singers who offer a variety of song styles including the two step, straight, crow hop, side step, round dance, ruffle dance, and the trick song. Pow Wow songs all follow a similar structure; the lead singer sings a phrase alone, the other singers repeat the lead phrase, then they all sing the melody and a repetition of the melody together. Many times you will hear four or five slow "honor beats" from the drum. It is said that the beats are for the four directions and the fifth for Mother Earth and the Great Spirit.

The Grand Entry

The Grand Entry is the first dance of each Pow Wow session and is used to bring the dancers into the arena. Dancers are led by a color guard made up of veterans and others who carry the Eagle Staff, the American Flag, and other flags. The eagle staff serves as the flag for American Indians. During the Grand Entry, dancers circle the arena until all of the dancers have entered. To show respect, everyone is asked to stand and remove caps or hats during the Grand Entry, flag songs, honor songs, and the invocation.

Pow Wow Head Staff

The Master of Ceremonies keeps the Pow Wow on schedule. He acts as a narrator, provides instructions, introduces the different events, makes announcements, and explains the dances to the general public. The Arena Director ensures that the dance arena is ready and coordinates each session.

2016 Pow Wow Information


February 26th and 27th, 2016

Grand Entry

February 26, 7:00 p.m.
February 27, 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.


USU Nelson Fieldhouse,
700 North 800 East, Logan, UT

Admission Rates

General Admission - $4
USU Student w/ ID - $3
Seniors, 65+ - $3
Children Under 7 - FREE
*Group rates available for non-profit organizations. Please contact us at powwow@usu.edu.

Host Hotel

University Inn & Conference Center

Dance Categories

Dancers compete within the following age sets for each dance category: Golden Age, Adult, Teens, Juniors, and Tiny Tots:

  • Men's Traditional Dance
  • Men's Grass Dance
  • Men's Fancy Dance
  • Women's Traditional Dance
  • Women's Jingle Dance
  • Women's Fancy Shawl Dance


  • NASC Committee Switch Dance
  • Head Man Special
  • Head Woman Special

2016 Pow Wow Head Staff

Master of Ceremonies: Harold Begaye
Arena Director: Jerry Bear
Host Drum Medicine Thunder, Ft. Hall ID
Head Man: Gary Martine
Head Woman: 2016-2017 Miss American Indian USU
Spiritual Advisor Winston Mason

USU Pow Wow Resources

Pow Wow Poster

Dancer Liability Form

Vendor Registration

USU Pow Wow Sponsors

Office of the Vice President of Student Services