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North Dakota Rodeos and Powwows

Experience two key North Dakota cultural traditions

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Mandan Rodeo Days Bronc Rider
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Mandan Rodeo Days Bronc Rider
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Rodeos and powwows are important parts of North Dakota culture. The dates surrounding the Fourth of July are known as Cowboy Christmas for all the money that can be earned at the rodeos held around the holiday. Eight seconds seems so long when you're watching a cowboy hang on for dear life. From national professional events to local high school competitions, rodeo isn't just a sport in North Dakota, it's a feel-the-dirt-in-your-teeth way of life.

The Algonquin word "pau wau" was the Native American word some of the first Europeans associated with dancing. Although pau wau meant "he dreams" to the Algonquins, the term was eventually accepted by Europeans to refer to dancing, later being spelled "powwow."

Powwows were originally held in the spring to celebrate the beginning of new life, but are now held throughout the year. The celebrations often have religious significance, but are also a time for people to gather, sing, dance, feast, pray, renew old friendships and make new ones. These celebrations are still an important part of life for many American Indians.

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