Powwow grounds are a culturally important architectural type on many reservations. Traditionally, powwow grounds were constructed as “bowers,” or circular enclosures, often with cedar or willow branches forming the roof canopy. The more permanently constructed powwow grounds just south and east of White Shield provide a good example for visitors of this kind of backdrop for ceremonial dance. Guests should feel welcome at scheduled Powwow celebrations. It is considered respectful to refer to the elaborately beautiful attire of dancers as regalia and not consider it as superficial or arbitrary costuming. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, outdoor powwow grounds were augmented by enclosed sacred dance lodges, like one that has been documented under the Historic American Buildings Survey, near the village of Elbowoods, which, sadly, now lies below the waters of Lake Sakakawea, south of present-day White Shield, as a result of the Garrison Dam (ML4) construction.
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White Shield Powwow Grounds
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