|No Indian shall at any time pawwaw, or performe outward worship to their
false gods, or to the devil.
-- Massachusetts General Court decree, 1646
... the Powwow offers ... a chance to see the world from another perspective, one which looks to dance and song as the essence of life:
... the Indian wants to dance! It is his way of expressing devotion, of communing with unseen power, and in keeping his tribal identity. When the Lakota heart was filled with high emotion, he danced. When he felt the benediction of the warming rays of the sun, he danced. When his blood ran hot with success of the hunt or chase, he danced. When his heart was filled with pity for the orphan, the lonely father, or bereaved mother, he danced.
... Did dancing mean much to the white people, they would better understand ours. Yet at the same time there is no attraction that brings people from such distances as a certain tribal dance, for the reason that the white mind senses its mystery, for even the white man's inmost feelings are unconsciously stirred by the beat of the tomtom. They are heart-beats, and once all men danced to its rhythm.
-- Luther Standing Bear ("Land of the Spotted Eagle", 1933)
Both are quoted in a 1991 newspaper article by Peter d'Errico of UMass/Amherst.