1.A council or meeting with or of Native Americans.
2.a. A Native American shaman. b. A ceremony conducted by a shaman, as in the performance of healing or hunting rituals.
3.Informal. A conference or gathering.
powwowed, powwowing, powwows
To hold a powwow.
[Narragansett powwaw, shaman.]
Word History: Because trances were so important to the Native American shaman as a means of getting in touch with spiritual forces beyond the ken of the normal person, the title powwaw, literally meaning "one who has visions," was accorded him. One of the occurrences of this word in an early piece of propaganda designed to bring more settlers to New England represents fairly well the Puritan attitudes to the religion of the native inhabitants of the New World: "The office and dutie of the Powah is to be exercised principally in calling upon the Devil; and curing diseases of the sicke or wounded." The word whose spelling was eventually settled in English as powwow was also used as the name for ceremonies and councils, probably because of the important role played by the shaman in both. After the native peoples had been dealt with and the fear of devil worship was somewhat diminished, the newcomers decided that they could have powwows too, the first reference to one of these being recorded in the Salem, Massachusetts, Gazette of 1812: "The Warriors of the Democratic Tribe will hold a powwow at Agawam on Tuesday next." The verb powwow, "to confer," was recorded even earlier, in 1780.
conference: conference, colloquy, conversations, talks, pourparler, parley, powwow, palaver
Tribal Voice is an unusual combination of Internet resources dedicated to Native American culture. Part ezine, part Web search engine, the Tribal Voice site offers information about Native American happenings, related Web pages, interviews, and Web site reviews. "Tribal Voice was created to facilitate the propagation of cybertribes within the realm of cyberspace." This page is also home to PowWow, a software program for Windows that allows up to seven people to chat, send and receive files, and cruise the World Wide Web together as a group.