I do not wish to seem like I think I know it all, this is just what I understand and have been taught over my years, and since I was 18 I heard only this story about the origination of the Pow Wow.
It was told to me by the Algonquin people of Canada that the words Pow Wow come from their language , and is Pe'Wau E' Wau , pronounced Pehhh-wahhh Eeee-Wahhhh. The Council of the Nation that the people who told me this said also that the Pow Wow, or Pe'Wau E'Wau , is originally a Medicinal and Healing Circle and Ceremony . It was to celebrate medicine and it's healing , to celebrate the Elders and Ancients and their teachings. In accordance to them , now , only as I was told, the origination of this started with the original peoples of the Algonkween or Algonquian people of Eastern to Mid Canada, who were known way back when as Algonkins. It was their ceremonies and belief system it supposedly came from. But then again , we all have our renditions of this, as my own people, the Lenni Lenape have their rendition of it as well, saying that the Lenapis (Lenape) who crossed the Bearing Strait brought it with them, and it was not the Pe'Wau E'Wau it was to them the Pinau Eskwae ( Pin-Ah-ooo Essss-k-way) and was the Creation Circle Ceremeony. So who really does know, I do know I don't. I would love to find out that it was just one and it was a certain people's and it's exact meaning. However, I have the feeling that is impossible, because it came from too many roots and too many peoples as Tribal Nations.
Just thought I would add this and let people know. It's not like I think I'm 100% right and now one else is...just interesting to note, that for a ceremony that I originally heard one way when I was 18 , it evolved into having multiple origins including, yes the Pawnee version as well .
Well , I leave it up to the individuals everywhere to choose the way they think it evolved and if they're fine with that for themselves I am happy for them and I choose to believe the way I believe. That's what makes us such a diverse, and happy family... and yes I said FAMILY. We are brothers and sisters in the world and this is what binds us together....diversity, acceptance, love and Honor.
To this I say
Taho, and Wanishi
Blessings to all my Family