HEAD MAN DANCER
XAVIER LITTLE HEAD
Tribes: Northern Cheyenne and Navajo
Hometown: Lame Deer, MT
Haskell degree program: Business Administration Management
Q: Did you grow up attending powwows? If so, could you share a favorite memory with us?
A: Yes, thankfully my parents were involved in powwows before I was born, so as I grew up, the powwow circle was always there for me.
My favorite memories are, in fact, the journey to these powwow celebrations with my family. We would travel throughout the summer, clear across the country – from California, to Washington, New York, Florida, and even Native communities in Canada. In between our travels, opportunities to see national landmarks and famous places that our country has, going from Native reservations all over, those are times I’ll forever cherish … All thanks to our love for attending powwow celebrations.
Q: Can you describe the head man dancer’s role at a powwow?
A: The head man dancer’s role is an honor. Usually a powwow committee selects a head man based on qualifications like how the person carries themselves in and outside the dance circle. They pick this dancer to feature at their powwow celebrations, and advertise their name on their powwow flyers, kind of like how a concert festival would advertise a famous artist. By bringing a head dancer in, they know their powwow will be lively. The same can be said about if a powwow selects a host drum. In an in-person, pre-COVID powwow celebration, head man dancers have certain protocols: for example, leading out the male dance categories in the grand entries or intertribal dances. They are ready and on standby for dances through the celebration if called upon as well.
Q: Are you involved in any on-campus activities at Haskell or in the community? If so, which ones?
A: I am involved at Haskell with our HPA club as well as a player on the men’s basketball team for Haskell. I am often called upon to help with the Student Activities Center for many projects and events.
Q: What are your plans after you graduate from Haskell?
A: My plan after I graduate from Haskell in May 2022 is graduate school. I have some internship opportunities this summer that will shape my master’s degree program before next year. I can’t wait!
Q: Anything else you’d like us to know about you?
A: Thank you again for selecting me as head man this year. It was an honor and always fun to share a little of my culture.