The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) is holding its annual powwow on Sept. 9 and 10 at the Aquinnah Circle, with gates opening at 11:30 a.m. each day. The event gets underway at 1 p.m. each day with a grand entry procession, and comes to a close around 5 or 6 p.m.

The event’s theme, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, looks to raise awareness about violence directed towards Indigenous women in the United States and Canada. Kinship Heals, an Island nonprofit working to end domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking in communities in the Northeast, will be at the event.

Justin Beatty is the event’s emcee, introducing dancers and also explaining to the audience the meanings behind some of the dances and regalia. Hiawatha Brown is the arena director.

As dancing commences, Jada Randolph of Aquinnah will be the head lady, and Caesar Hendricks will be the head man. Alamoosic Lake, Black Brook, Red Hawk Singers and Herring Creek will play the drums.

“Not everybody is exactly the same; it’s expression,” said Bettina Washington, the tribe’s historic preservation officer. “It can be a form of prayer almost. You’re not getting up just to dance, but as a form of thanks or to tell a story.”

Many of the dances will be performed by members from tribal nations, but one part of the powwow will accept anybody who wants to join in. When the emcee and arena director call for intertribal, the public is welcome to join dancers in the arena.

Three vendors will offer food at the event, including Sly Fox by chef Sherry Pocknett, who was the first Indigenous woman to be honored by the James Beard Foundation when she received its award for Best Chef in the Northeast.

The word powwow comes from the same base word as the Wampanoag word for medicine, which Ms. Washington said is fitting.

“It’s good medicine, seeing your friends and your family,” she said.

Admission for a day costs $10 for adults and $5 dollars for children (6-13), seniors (65+) and veterans. Two-day passes are also available at $15 for adults and $7 for others. Admission is free for children under 5.

The powwow is a special event, said Ms. Washington, and the location at the eastern side of Aquinnah Circle overlooking the cliffs and the ocean enhances the experience.

“When you realize how long we’ve been here, for 10,000 or 12,000 years, and we’re still here — it’s pretty amazing,” she said.