pow·wow (pou’wou′)
n. 1) a) A council or meeting of Native Americans, sometimes with people from other communities. b) Informal A conference or gathering, as of business people. 2) a) A Native American shaman. b) A ceremony conducted by a shaman, as in the performance of healing or hunting rituals.
intr.v. pow·wowed, pow·wow·ing, pow·wows Informal To hold a powwow.
[Narragansett powwaw, shaman.]
Word History: According to the traditional beliefs of many Native American peoples, a healer, shaman, or priest can communicate with spiritual forces beyond the ken of the ordinary person through trances and visions, gaining power and knowledge that helps to cure the sick and otherwise benefit the community, as by bringing about good weather or a successful hunt. In Narragansett, the indigenous Algonquian language of Rhode Island, the traditional healer or priest was given the title powwaw, a term that developed from a Proto-Algonquian word meaning "one who has visions." In English, a form of the word powwaw occurs in a 1624 document by Edward Winslow, expressing the English colonists' typical mistrust of Native American religion: 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 English spelling of the word was eventually settled as powwow, and the term also came to be used as the name for ceremonies and councils, probably because of the important role played by the healer or holy person in these events. Today, when speaking in English, some Native American communities themselves use the word powwow to refer to meetings or gatherings held according to the traditional ways of their people.

Word Histories. 2014.

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  • Powwow — Pow wow , n. 1. A priest, or conjurer, among the North American Indians. [1913 Webster] Be it sagamore, sachem, or powwow. Longfellow. [1913 Webster] 2. Conjuration attended with great noise and confusion, and often with feasting, dancing, etc.,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Powwow —   [ paʊwaʊ, Algonkin] das, (s)/ s, ursprüngliche Bezeichnung für Schamane oder Priester, dann von den Weißen allgemein für indianischen Versammlungen verwendet. Heute versteht man unter Powwow weit verbreitete intertribale Tanzveranstaltungen… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • powwow — (n.) 1620s, priest, sorcerer, from a southern New England Algonquian language (probably Narragansett) powwow shaman, medicine man, Indian priest, from a verb meaning to use divination, to dream, from Proto Algonquian *pawe:wa he dreams, one who… …   Etymology dictionary

  • powwow — [n] discussion confab*, confabulation, conference, consultation, council, get together, huddle, meeting, palaver, parley, talk; concepts 56,324,384 Ant. quiet powwow [v] discuss advise, confab*, confabulate, confer, consult, get together, go into …   New thesaurus

  • powwow — ► NOUN 1) a North American Indian ceremony involving feasting and dancing. 2) informal a meeting for discussion among friends or colleagues. ► VERB informal ▪ hold a powwow. ORIGIN Narragansett, magician …   English terms dictionary

  • powwow — ☆ powwow [pou′wou΄ ] n. [< Narragansett & Massachusett powwaw, priest, orig., prob. “he dreams”] 1. a North American Indian medicine man or priest 2. among North American Indians, a ceremony to conjure the cure of disease, success in war, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Powwow — Pow wow , v. i. 1. To use conjuration, with noise and confusion, for the cure of disease, etc., as among the North American Indians. [1913 Webster] 2. Hence: To hold a noisy, disorderly meeting. [Archaic, formerly Colloq. U. S.] [1913 Webster] 3 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • powwow — /pow wow /, n. 1. (among North American Indians) a ceremony, esp. one accompanied by magic, feasting, and dancing, performed for the cure of disease, success in a hunt, etc. 2. a council or conference of or with Indians. 3. (among North American… …   Universalium

  • Powwow — Grand Entry des Omaha Powwows 1983 Ein Powwow (auch Pow Wow oder Pow Wow) ist ein Treffen nordamerikanischer Indianer (oder auch von Indianern mit Nicht Indianern), um gemeinsam zu tanzen, zu singen, Kontakte zu knüpfen und die indianischen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • PowWow — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Powwow (homonymie). Platforme matérielle PowWow PowWow (Power Optimized Hardware and Software FrameWork for Wireless Motes) est une plateforme de recherche sur les réseaux de …   Wikipédia en Français

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