pow wows

We are inspired by Native American Pow Wows. Below is more information.

Pow Wows are the Native American people’s way of meeting together, to join in dancing, singing, visiting, renewing old friendships, and making new ones. This is a time method to renew Native American culture and preserve the rich heritage of American Indians.

There are several different stories of how the pow wow was started. Some believe that the War dance Societies of the Ponca and other Southern Plains Tribes were the origin of the pow wow.

Pow wow singers are very important figures in the Native American culture. Without them there would be no dancing. The songs are of many varieties, from religious to war to social.

As various tribes gathered together, they would share their songs, often changing the songs so singers of different tribes could join. With these changes came the use of “vocables” to replace the words of the old songs. Thus, some songs today are sung in “vocables” with no words.

Yet they still hold special meaning to those who know the song. Many songs are still sung in Native American Languages either newly composed or revivals of old songs. These songs are reminders to the Indian people of their old ways and rich heritage.

Dances have always been a very important part of the life of the American Indian. Most dances seen at pow wows today are social dances which might have had different meanings in earlier days. Although dance styles and content have changed, their meaning and importance has not. The outfits worn by the dancers, like the styles of clothing today evolve over time, it is not a stagnant culture, but a vibrant and changing way of life.

Gathering of Nations Pow wows are organized by committees that work for weeks before the event. At the pow wow, the MC runs the events. The MC works with the Arena Director to keep the pow wow organized and running smoothly. These two individuals along with the committee work hard to bring the people together to dance and fellowship together in the circle.

Learn more about Native American Pow Wows at www.powwows.com.


POW! – It’s the impact that art has on a person.

WOW! – It’s reaction that art has on a viewer.

Together they form POW WOW, which is a Native American term that describes a gathering that celebrates culture, music and art.

Centered around a week-long event in Hawaii, POW! WOW! has grown into a global network of artists and organizes gallery shows, lecture series, schools for art and music, mural projects, a large creative space named Lana Lane Studios, concerts, and live art installations across the globe. The central event takes place during Valentine’s Day week in February in the Kaka’ako district of Honolulu, and brings over a hundred international and local artist together to create murals and other forms of art. The festival is expanding to cities and countries such as Taiwan, Long Beach, Israel, Singapore, Jamaica, Washington D.C., Guam, New Zealand, Germany and more.

Browse the website and check out our many photos, videos and artist profiles. For the latest, stay tuned via our Instagram and Twitter.

Don’t forget to check out our shop for cool POW! WOW! and artist gear.

For inquiries, please email info@powwowhawaii.com.


Founder and Lead Director

Jasper Wong

Co-Lead Director

Kamea Hadar

Operations Director

Jeffrey Gress

Documentation Director

Michael Inouye

Merchandising Director

Amy Wong

Music and Event Coordination

JP Kennedy

Taiwan Regional Director

Lawrence Chen

Japan Regional Director

Emily Okamoto

Long Beach Regional Director

John Hall

Music School Director

Andy Song

Music School Director

Nick Kaleikini

Art School Director

John "Prime" Hina