May 16, 2016

2556, 2557 CANADA - Pow Wow

A pow wow is a social gathering held by many different Native American / First Nation communities. A modern pow wow is a specific type of event for Native American / First Nations people to meet and dance, sing, socialize, and honor their cultures. There is generally a dancing competition, often with significant prize money awarded. The word derives from the Narragansett word powwaw, meaning "spiritual leader". Pow wows vary in length from a one-day event, to major pow wows, which can be up to one week long.

The master of ceremonies, or MC, sets the schedule of events, and keep the singers, dancers, and public informed as to what is happening. The head dancers consist of the Head Man Dancer and the Head Woman Dancer, and often Head Teen Dancers, Head Little Boy and Girl Dancers, Head Golden Age Dancers, and a Head Gourd Dancer. Music is provided by a "Drum," a group of performers who play a large, specially designed drum and sing traditional songs.

A pow wow is often set up as a series of large circles. The center circle is the dance arena, outside of which is a larger circle consisting of the MC's table, drum groups, and sitting areas for dancers and their families. Beyond these two circles for participants is an area for spectators, while outside of all are designated areas with vendor's booths, where one can buy food, music, jewelry, souvenirs, arts and crafts, beadwork, leather, and regalia supplies.

About the stamps
On the postcard 2556 (Canada)
The stamp is one of the three of the series Christmas - Canada's First Carol "Jesous Ahatonhia", issued in 1977. John de Brébeuf was one of eight Jesuit North American martyrs cruelly killed between 1642 and 1649 at the hands of the Mohawk. He died 16 March 1649 at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, near Midland, Ontario. Brébeuf wrote a catechism in Huron and a French-Huron dictionary for use by other missionaries, and he composed in Huron Canada's first Christmas carol, Jesous Ahatonhia or The Huron Carol. Ronald G. White, an illustrator of children's books has used Native American motifs in the stamps of the series to illustrate the carol: (10¢) three hunter braves see an angel in the northern lights, (12¢) they follow the star to the lodge where the infant is to be found, and (25¢) they worship at the crib.

On the postcard 2557 (United States & Canada)
The first two stamps is part of a definitive series with butterflies, about which I wrote here. The last stamp is part of the series Beneficial Insects, about which I wrote here.

Pow wow - Wikipedia
What is a Native American Pow Wow? -

Sender 2556: Denise Forsythe (direct swap)
Sent from LaSalle (Ontario / Canada), on 27.04.2013
Sender 2557: Denise
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 25.09.2015
Photo: Vanya Sokolowski

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