A pow-wow (also powwow or pow wow or pau wau) is a gathering of North America's Native people. The word derives from the Narragansett word powwaw, meaning "spiritual leader".
A modern pow-wow is a specific type of event where both Native American and non-Native American people meet to dance, sing, socialize, and honor American Indian culture. There is generally a dancing competition, often with significant prize money awarded. Pow-wows vary in length from one day session of 5 to 6 hours to three days. Major pow-wows or pow-wows called for a special occasion can be up to one week long.
The term also has been used to describe any gathering of Native Americans of any tribe, and as such is occasionally heard in older Western movies. The word has also been used to refer to a meeting, especially a meeting of powerful people such as officers in the military. However, such use can also be viewed as disrespectful to Native culture. _Wikipedia
Pow-wow is a system of American folk religion and magic associated with the Pennsylvania Dutch. It comes from the book Pow-wows, or, The Long Lost Friend, written by John George Hohman and first published in German as Der Lange Verborgene Freund in 1820. Despite the Native name, taken from an Algonquian word for a shaman, the collection is actually a very traditional collection of European magic spells, recipes, and folk remedies, of a type familiar to students of folklore. They mix Roman Catholic prayers, magic words, and simple rituals to cure simple domestic ailments and rural troubles. Once these charms and spells were written down in English, they escaped the (originally German) Pennsylvania Dutch community and influenced hoodoo and other forms of folk magic and folk religion in the United States. _Wikipedia