Where does the word 'powwow' come from?

The Powwow is a Native American meeting tradition, sometimes involving competitive dance, celebrated across the United States and Canada.

The word has taken on the general meaning of a social meeting where tasks get accomplished. Powwows have been viewed by some as a unifying force, since they are a common cultural element across otherwise diverse Indigenous nations.

There are a few thoughts on the origin of the word pow wow. Some hold that it is an adaptation from “pau wau”, an Algonquin word for "medicine man" or "he who dreams”. Others sources say its origin lies in the Pawnee word "pa-wa", meaning “to eat”. According to Merriam-Webster, the word is either Narragansett "powwaw" or Massachusett "pauwau". [Source]