The Native American powwow has served to maintain the culture of North America’s Indigenous peoples since before the arrival of European colonialists. In traditional forms of the powwow, competition is not common whereas contest powwows are characterized by the primacy of competition. We assess similarities and differences between the contest powwow and competitive sport found within the broader American society through in-depth semi-structured interviews with 14 competitive contest powwow dancers. We address a number of questions through the qualitative research process, such as what does the powwow mean to you? What are your primary goals for competing? We analyzed the qualitative data via a three-step coding process (open coding, axial coding, and theme development). We demonstrate that although the participants compete with a high degree of seriousness, they maintain traditional collectivist values and attitudes. Further, we conclude that the contest powwow serves to maintain and reproduce the unique characteristics of traditional Native American culture within the competitive contest powwow environment.
collectivism, coding, contest powwow, Native American, sport, qualitative research, theme development
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Recommended APA Citation
Aicinena, S. J., & Ziyanak, S. (2021). Contest Powwow: Sport and Native American Culture. The Qualitative Report, 26(1), 27-51. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2021.4517