Pow Wow Party – Kara’s Party Ideas Book

Posted on April 5th, 2012 by Kara
Comments 165

I’m so excited to share the POW WOW THEMED BIRTHDAY PARTY I styled last month. This party is actually in my upcoming book and is one of the select parties you get to see before the book hits shelves this October!

All of the amazing photos were taken by Valerie Hart Photography. Valerie is so talented, and has been an absolute joy to work with.

The party was set among the infamous red rock and sand in Snow Canyon, Utah. It was such a gorgeous setting, and the perfect location for the party.

A lot of fun desserts and treats were created for the party. The edible teepees were made by dipping ice cream sugar cones in melted white Wilton Candy Melts® and decorating with licorice string and various candies. “Corncob Twinkies®” were made by simply spreading frosting over Twinkies® and placing Reese’s Pieces® in rows on top of the frosting. The cupcakes on top of the old toy drum were topped with fondant corncob cupcake toppers that I ordered from Parkers Flour Patch. The adorable teepee cake pops were ordered online from Etsy shop, Autumn Lynn’s Chocolate Sin’s. Cute cactus-shaped sugar cookies were ordered online from All Things Exquisite. Totem poles were made out of tootsie rolls and cupcakes were topped with small dreamcatchers.

For activities the children colored and put together small cardboard teepees using a kit from my shop and filled glass jars with colored sand. They also cut out cute paper doll banners, a download from Happy Paper Hearts. Small bows and arrows and little dolls were given to each child to play with throughout the party and take home afterwards.

Vendor Credits:

Photography–Valerie Hart Photography

Party Styling–Kara’s Party Ideas

Invitations, Food Label Tent Cards, Teepee Party Hats— Included on CD in Book- Released October, 2012

Necklaces, Gummy Snakes, Paper Sacks, Toy Tomahawks, Dream Catchers, Pouch Craft Kit, Teepee Craft Kit, Feathers, Glass Jars, Small Glass Jars, Rock Candy, Wooden Utensils, Colored Sand, Sucker Sticks, Wilton Candy Melts(R), Bakers Twine, Paper Shred, Scrapbook Paper, Paper Bags—Kara’s Party Shop

Teepee Cake Pops—Autumn Lynn’s Chocolate Sin’s

Paper Doll Banner–Happy Paper Hearts

Cactus-Shaped Sugar Cookies—All Things Exquisite

Corncob Fondant Cupcake Toppers—Parkers Flour Patch

Fondant Cookie Toppers—Cookie Covers
Children’s Teepee–Amazon


165 thoughts on “Pow Wow Party – Kara’s Party Ideas Book

Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments

  1. Pingback: SparkBark » Blog Archive » Kara’s Party Ideas

  2. Nakinya

    What if I held a party for my daughter and called it a “Zulu” adventure? And had a cake designed in Zulu designs, costumes, etc. I’m not of the Zulu nation, but I greatly admire their people. I hope you can see how offensive and ridiculous that would be.

    You say that your husband is of Cherokee descent. If he was at all in touch with his culture or people, then he would have put a stop to this party as he would have been highly offended by it. The thing that bothers me is when non Native people are confronted with doing such things as your pow wow party, they always come up with “but my grandmother is an “indian”, my family has “indian” roots”, etc.

    Lately there has been a trend taking place where it’s “cool” to be “indian”. We have youth dressing up in headdresses for school, parties, or concerts. When confronted, they claim they are “honoring” Natives. No, they are not. It is offensive. I blame a lot of this on the fact that they have not been educated properly.

    I appreciate a lot of your apologies in response to the comments, but I think it’s time for people who want to be “indian” to start going to a reservation and check in with what it really is to be Native. Talk to some of the people. It is time to stop sensationalizing and sexualizing Natives.

  3. Nakinya

    “I wonder if you could use your party magic skills to tweak this party to be more specific to one Native American tribe”

    No. Just… no. Go to a Native reservation and see what kind of birthday parties they have for their children. Natives are not a party theme.

    When you grow tired of trending on Natives, what themes will you then move on to?

  4. kaprice schau

    I love the party! I think it’s very cute and I’m wondering how those feathers are attached to the string for the banner?

  5. Marie

    Rachel said everything already. What strikes me is the way Kara seems to think that her ignorant racism is so ‘cutesy’ and thus not what it actually is. As long as you add themed cupcakes everything is alright, I guess, and turns into a dinner party for the privileged people.

    Also: I found this post via Native Appropriations and am from Germany. If one puts something out on the internet, one should know it will be seen and critiqued the way it deserves it.

  6. Anonymous

    I’m not actually worried about offending the white lady who created this, because I think with the huge amount of societal privilege she experiences, and the fact that this is clearly racist, she can deal with her party being called racist.

    If you’re dressing up as a culture, with outfits bought from a costume store or made to resemble depictions of that culture in white, western media, when your culture has systematically committed physical and cultural genocide against those cultures, YOU’RE BEING RACIST.

    It’s the same as wearing blackface: it’s very obviously incredibly offensive, there’s nothing “honorable” about it, and it’s racist. Period. It’s the same as pulling the corners of your eyes back and talking about eating “flied lice and dumprings.” It’s racist. It’s the same as putting a tea towel on your head and wearing a fake beard so you look “arabic.” IT’S RACIST.

    There’s nothing honorable about dressing up as “reel injuns,” making all Native cultures look like they’re the same, and trivialising the fact that, oh yeah, YOUR ANCESTORS KILLED 95% OF THEM. Just stop, you’re making me ashamed to be white.

    I’m sorry if you’re offended by this post.
    Actually, I’m not. You’re the one being racist, don’t get defensive, educate yourself about what you’ve done that’s offensive and wrong, and don’t do it again.
    Try native appropriations for a good start on how not to offend the people on whose land you live. nativeappropriations.blogspot.com

    1. kymi johnson rutledge

      This is very offensive. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to understand how racism hurts all people… even innocent children. Adults need to be better educated so they do not hurt children by passing down racist attitudes to the next generation. Adults who will not learn, continue the cycle of ignorance.

  7. Jamie Moffitt

    I love everything about this party!!!

    Cowboys and Indians…isn’t that what every little boy played before all the DS’ and Nintedos!!?? So are people wrong to put their kids in boots and cowboy hats, if their ancestors nor they live on a farm or a ranch???

    I have a son who wants to have a cowboy party, but we are not “cowboys” I have a daughter who wants to have a princess party, but we are not royalty..should we check with William and Kate to make sure we wont offend them?? Lets do away with Halloween night then too!

    Anyone who hates this party does not get parties!! If you child admires something or is into something then let it be FUN!!!

    1. Adriana

      Uh. No. Just no. You obviously don’t get it at all. I “get” parties. What I don’t get is teaching my children stereotypes and making a “party” out of it. There are plenty of other party themes out there that don’t make a complete mockery out of hundreds of individual cultures.

    2. Elle

      No, cowboys and indians wasn’t what all of us played before nintendo and ds. cowboys and indians is an idea we have about a period in american history that saw to extermination of peoples indigenous to central and western united states, mexico and canada. what you’re celebrating here is genocide, and you’re encouraging young people to play, without helping them understand the historical context.

      Even if you stopped playing “cowboys and indians” and stuck with parties themed with “cowboys” and “princesses”, these themes are not benign. What you’ll be doing then is celebrating roles played by people enacting genocide, without any images of the people whose existence british and american governments were supposed to wipe out (cowboys being early police; princesses being royalty who benefit from the colonies).

      Oh, and it *is* possible to have fun without celebrating genocide. Ever been to a powwow?

  8. Kelly

    Clearly you are an excellent party planner, and you can throw a magical affair, styled all the way down to the details. However, I’ve got to jump on the bandwagon here. This is hugely insensitive to native cultures. It’s all fun for kids, but what kind of imagery and ideas about Native Americans are those kids taking away? Nothing accurate or respectful.

  9. Tess

    Wow. Please delete this from your website and take it out of your book for goodness’ sake! This is horrible. I know it wasn’t intended that way, but it’s truly truly awful and extremely racist. It’s the same as throwing a black face themed party or a party themed “Asian” where you coalesce all of Asia into one stereotype, serve fortune cookies, and encourage the kids to pull their eyes into squinty shapes. Yep, they said it already, this ish is RACIST!

    1. Anonymous

      This is ridiculous and so extremely offensive to all Native cultures. Let kids be kids you say….. Please. We as adults are responsible for the messages we teach the young generations… and this is highly degrading and racist!!! As an Aboriginal woman myself this should be taken down immediately and you should educate YOUR self before completing such a highly racial and stereotypical themed event for young children!!

  10. EC Weems

    Are you all seriously so upset about this children’s party? Racist? Really?
    Did the Native Americans not use teepees, feathers, beads, drums – etc? I always thought them to be some of the most creative and talented artist of all time!
    This is just a children’s party – not a history lesson.
    If you are going to rant about the killing off of a race – please get all the facts. The Native Americans did a share of killing also, not to mention other crimes against humanity. Were we treated fairly by the “white man”? NO, but just posting what was done to Native Americans without looking at all sides of the story is just as bad.
    You probably wouldn’t have had a problem with a pirate party where they all had blackened teeth, an eye patch, a peg leg and a parrot on their shoulder – this concept of a real pirate is just as real as the theme featured here – artistic license.
    Just let kids be kids.

    1. Violet

      We would love to just let “our kids be kids”. Unfortunately, while some parents feel comfortable dressing their white children up as racial caricatures of our peoples, that is impossible.

      Would you dress your children up as Africans? Would you dress them up as Asians? No. This is EXACTLY the same thing.

      Artistic license to dress up as some random, historically inaccurate depiction of entire cultures lumped into feathers and beads? This isn’t an honour to our cultures. Please take it down. It is making the rounds on Native American culture sites.

    2. Anonymous

      Really? You had to go there on the history? First of all. Yes, when you are going to have a themed party about a group of people. YES, it is a history lesson. It should be. Second of all, you certainly are a silly little woman to say that WE don’t know the history. YOU obviously need to read your history too. Yes, Native Tribes did their share of killing. But why? They didn’t go out and say, “Hey! instead of killing a buffalo today, let’s go shoot some white guys.” Stop watching the old western shows. They don’t tell a lick of truth. Don’t go spouting history to us when you don’t even know anything about it yourself. And no, I wouldn’t have a pirate party. Because, historically, pirates are thieves. I am not going to promote that lifestyle to my children.


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