52nd Annual Inter-Tribal Pow-Wow
By Robert Bernstein
This past weekend the Chumash tribe hosted their 52nd Annual Inter-Tribal Pow-Wow at Live Oak Campground. Tribes from at least as far away as the Cree of Alberta, Canada were in attendance. Some attendees had attended every single Pow-Wow going back for 52 years!
Here are my photos, as well as videos of the Grand Entry procession and some of the dancing.
It was a chance for the different tribes to meet and socialize. It was also a chance for a variety of performances and even friendly competition for those performances. With real prize money!
The events began with a low key Gourd Dance.
Then a Grand Entry procession with many tribal members walking and dancing in native dress. Accompanied by traditional chanting and drumming.
After the Grand Entry, tribal members of all ages danced and chanted in the arena
as a narrator explained what we were seeing
I was grateful for those who posed for photos in full traditional dress
This Cree woman had come all the way from Alberta, Canada
There were plenty of native crafts being bought and sold. I bought a traditional rattle from a native craftsperson
as well as this Western traditional wear
from this native vendor
My wife bought these feather earrings from a native craftsperson
And the woman running that stand was a Powhatan from the DC area. We lived at the corner of Powhatan Street when we first moved to the DC area so that brought back a memory for me.
The Pow-Wow was also a chance for action to preserve local lands from the ravages of fracking
And, of course, there was food
We enjoyed an "Indian Taco" made with Fry Bread
We got it from the Roman Nose stand
This sign explained that Roman Nose was a Cheyenne Chief who refused to sign any treaties with the US Government
They also explained that Fry Bread is not a traditional native food. It came about due to US Government restrictions on native livelihood and was made from the materials they were given for bare survival
County Supervisor Das Williams was behind us in line. His wife Jonnie Erika Williams is a Navajo.
Each tribe also had a chance to show off its unique performances. There were also opportunities for young tribal members to perform.
We were very pleasantly surprised that admission was free, with just a small parking fee. Camping was also available for a small fee. Mark your calendar for next year around this time for the next Chumash Pow-Wow. A chance to visit diverse cultures from around North America without leaving home!