The Grand Entry at a Pow Wow

All pow-wow sessions begin with a Grand Entry. This is when all dancers enter the arena in a specific order of dance style and age. The Eagle Staff and Flag Bearers lead the way followed by head dancers and veterans.

The grand entry | woodGrand Entry reflects long-standing cultural values such as tradition, respect for elders, and honoring veterans. It also echoes non-Indian events like rodeos and Wild West shows.


The ancestor of the contemporary powwow’s Grand Entry is the Meskwaki warrior ceremony, in which warriors led by their elders paraded into a round arena. Participants carried flags that represented their tribes and were accompanied by drums. The Grand Entry is an important part of the powwow and motivates dancers to arrive in a timely manner, since competition points are deducted from early entries.

The surname Wood is one of many that originated from place names in England. In medieval times much of the country was covered by forests, and the name itself may have come from a local wood or from the place where someone lived. For example, one of the earliest references to a person named Wood is in the 1273 Hundred Rolls for Oxford. This refers to Arthur ate Wode (at the wood) and Richard de la Wode.

In addition to using digital maps, Metsa Group also uses chain of custody certification to monitor the origin of our timber. This is a third-party verification system that guarantees that the timber we use has been harvested legally, ethically and sustainably.


The Grand Entry marks the beginning of a pow-wow and sets the mood for the day. Dancers enter the arena in a predetermined sequence. It demonstrates a sense of tradition, respect for elders and honor to veterans. In addition, the Grand Entry motivates dancers to arrive in a timely manner, because competition points are deducted for late entries.

The grand entrance at a pow wow usually starts with an invitation to prayer. An elder will then share an invocation. The host drum will sing a flag song, and then a Victory or Veteran’s Song will follow. Spectators are asked to stand and remove their hats during these songs.

Many dancers feel that referring to their regalia as costumes demean the work and time that went into making them. Some dancers put hundreds of hours into their outfits, and some pieces may have been passed down through generations. The Grand Entry also reflects a sense of pride for their culture.


Some people use the term “front entrance” to refer to a front door or main entryway into a space. Other synonyms include portal, gateway, entranceway, foyer, vestibule, and threshold.

Grand Entry reflects long-standing cultural values such as tradition, respect for elders, and honoring veterans. Dancers in traditional dress enter the arena before those wearing fancy clothing, and elders precede younger dancers. Eagle staffs lead the way, followed by American and visiting flags, and then a flag song, invocation, and veterans’ song. It is customary for people to stand and remove their hats during these songs.

While Grand Entry is not an ancient ritual, it has a long history of being used by non-Indians to entertain white audiences. The Buffalo Bill Wild West Show, for example, featured Indians parading into a circular arena in full regalia to applause from the audience. The practice also imitates non-Indian events, such as rodeos, where dancers parade into a circular arena to entertain spectators.


Although not ancient, the Grand Entry is a cherished tradition that shows respect for elders and honor to veterans. Dancers in traditional dress precede those in fancy dress, and veterans delegated to carry the eagle feather staff are given precedence over all other flags (including the United States flag). After the Flag Song is finished, an invocation or welcome speech may be delivered. Afterwards, the dancing can begin.

Wood is also used as a synonym for a tree or a forest, and it can refer to wood products such as furniture. It is also a common noun, meaning a piece of timber or timber-framed building. It is related to Dutch wode (“wood”), Middle High German widu (“forest, grove, wood”), Danish ved (“wood), Swedish vd (“firewood”) and Icelandic vidur (“wood”). The word has been borrowed into English from other languages, including Old English.