Kaiwin Clements-Waishukła, a Wasco/ Warm Springs/ Cayuse/ Yakama from Warm Springs, Oregon, is an acclaimed hoop dancer. “I have been dancing since 2 years of age, and I like to hoop dance because it is fun,” she said. Photos submitted

This weekend’s regional PowWow celebrates Native cultures

Headman Quanah Henry is a Navajo from Smithlake, New Mexico. Henry has been dancing at PowWows all over the United States and Canada. He also dances professionally with First Nations Dance Company and has traveled throughout Europe, Australia, China, Japan, Africa, South America and throughout the world. Henry dances Men’s Fancy. The Oklahoma Feather style is the most popular style of dance and regalia seen at modern PowWows throughout the plains. The fancy dance outfit as such has no tribal identity and thus is often called the “Pan-Indian” outfit, but the Fancy Dance originated as the Fancy War Dance in Oklahoma. The young dancers’ colored outfits are clues to spectators of this energetic dance. The dancers are extremely well coordinated, spinning through what is undoubtedly the most athletic of PowWow dances. A friendly competition may develop between the singers and the dancers because stopping with the end and beat can mean winning or losing points. Henry said, “I would like to thank the Susanville PowWow Committee for asking me to serve as the Head Man dancer in many ways. Aho.”

Many, many moons ago, before the Europeans’ arrival in their tall-masted sailing ships from the land across the sea, many great Native nations and tribes thrived all across and up and down the American continents.

Some of the descendents of those Native people gather this weekend at the Lassen County Fairgrounds to celebrate their cultures in the ninth annual Susanville Indian Rancheria PowWow. PowWows allow Native people to meet, dance, sing, socialize and honor their Native cultures.

The PowWow presents dance competitions with traditional and modern dances, music, drum (including Host Drum, the Whitefish Jrs, a Cree Group from the Big River Band located near Prince Albert Saskatchewan, Canada) and many different types of regalia.

The PowWow opens at 7 p.m. Friday, May 18 at the Lassen County Fairgrounds. It opens at noon Saturday May 19. A special ceremony honoring Native veterans will be held at 4 p.m. In fact, the PowWow is held “in honor of our elders and veterans for the sacrifices they have made so that we may live,” according to the event poster. The PowWow opens Sunday at noon.

Head Woman Roxane Gomez offers a Fancy/Jingle Head Woman Special winner-take all award including a $1,000 cash prize, a champion jacket, a Pendleton blanket, a $100 Sephora gift card, a ribbon skirt, quill earrings by Monica, a Warriors pistol-bullet, a custom tote design from Joanne Brings Thunder and Michelle Guzman. That dance competition, featuring 10 drums, is tentatively scheduled for 9 p.m. Saturday, May19.

For more information, call Amelia Luna at 249-7192.

3 thoughts on “This weekend’s regional PowWow celebrates Native cultures

  • Ugh! Who ever allowed the writer of this piece to get away with the many moons opening ought to be thrown back into the 19th Century!! The words hackneyed & trite and stereotypical come to mind! C’mon y’all post this online so the whole world can read this, so its not just locals who get to read this! I was in Lassen county last year, and loved it! I wish I were able to attend the Pow-wow! So treat & speak of your local indigenous neighbors with respect and stay away from patronizing BS, when writing of them.

  • Wish I could be there. Sounds wonderful, to honor tribes culture of American native veterans,elders. With dancing,so much colour.. wow good wishes from U.K.

  • Send all the white people back to Europe… First Nations Land!

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