Powwow Music

A story by Chris Sockalexis from 2024

The RezDogs at the Mohegan Wigwam Festival, 2019

A powwow is a gathering held by many Native American and First Nations communities. Powwows are an opportunity for Indigenous people to socialize, dance, sing, sell their art, and honor their cultures. Most powwows are open to the public. I like to describe a powwow as a gathering where you’re with good people, eating good food, with good music, and in a good place.

Powwow music primarily consists of drumming and singing, whether it’s a solo singer with a hand drum or multiple people sitting and singing together around a larger drum. There are many styles of singing, depending upon the regionality of each tribal community.

My group, The RezDogs, are an intertribal drum group based on Indian Island. Since 1998, we have travelled extensively throughout the East Coast performing at powwows, music and art festivals, and other events, sharing our style of singing. Like all other drum groups across North America, the RezDogs compose and record our own original songs.

Chris Sockalexis singing

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