Translate this page
Pechanga Pow Wow MC, Tom Phillips of Kiowa-Muscogee Creek speaks of the meanings behind the many rich performances of song and dance at the pow wow.
Pechanga Pow Wow MC, Tom Phillips of Kiowa-Muscogee Creek speaks of the meanings behind the many rich performances of song and dance at the pow wow.
Lots of preparation and care goes into the regalia pow wow dancers wear. A young pow wow dancer has his regalia tightened up before dancing in the arena during the 19th annual Pechanga Pow Wow on Sat. July 12, 2014.
Lots of preparation and care goes into the regalia pow wow dancers wear. A young pow wow dancer has his regalia tightened up before dancing in the are...
Sandra Hale of ‘Hale’s Indian Tacos’ tends to the fryer where a piece of flattened dough turns into fry bread. Fry bread is a popular bread served at pow wows and other special Native American gatherings.
Sandra Hale of ‘Hale’s Indian Tacos’ tends to the fryer where a piece of flattened dough turns into fry bread. Fry bread is a popular bread served at ...
Host Southern Drum, ‘Big Medicine’ create drum beats and sing traditional Native American songs for pow wow dancers to dance to.
Host Southern Drum, ‘Big Medicine’ create drum beats and sing traditional Native American songs for pow wow dancers to dance to.
A pow wow dancer smiles before dancing to the beating drum at the 19th annual Pechanga Pow Wow on Sat. July 12, 2014.
A pow wow dancer smiles before dancing to the beating drum at the 19th annual Pechanga Pow Wow on Sat. July 12, 2014.
A pow wow dancer enters the arena during the Grand Entry at the Pechanga Pow Wow on Saturday, July 12, 2014.
A pow wow dancer enters the arena during the Grand Entry at the Pechanga Pow Wow on Saturday, July 12, 2014.
A young pow wow dancer enters the arena during the Grand Entry at the Pechanga Pow Wow
A young pow wow dancer enters the arena during the Grand Entry at the Pechanga Pow Wow

19th Annual Pechanga Pow Wow treats visitors to food, fireworks and dancing


Friday, July 18th, 2014
Issue 29, Volume 18.
Alex Groves
Editor
You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video.


The smell of fry bread wafted through the air as traditional Native American chants and music pulsated outward from a central arena at the grounds outside Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula.

Thousands of people showed up to partake in this experience; they ate Native foods, listened to Native music and purchased Native artwork over a three day period from July 11 – July 13 during the 19th Annual Pechanga Pow Wow.

Pow wows are events where various American Indian tribes gather together to celebrate their cultural traditions. Singing and dancing are the primary form of celebration, but Pechanga adds their own flare with a firework display on one of the nights of the event.

Many Southwest Riverside residents attend the event on a yearly basis; they pack the stands located at the center of the grounds to watch Gourd Dancing and other traditional forms of dance before staying for the display.

This year’s fireworks took place on the evening of July 12, the second day of the event, and cars from all over Southwest Riverside descended onto the three southbound lanes of Pechanga Parkway en route to the grounds to find a spot to watch.

They started shortly after 9 p.m. that evening and the sky erupted in brilliant and iridescent displays of green, blue, pink, orange and gold.

The colors of the fireworks were almost as bright as the colors of the regalia worn by the dancers, many of whom participated in traditional Gourd dancing.

Gourd dancing is a form of dance believed to have originated with the Kiowa people. Dancers move their feet in tandem with the beat of a drum as they travel around the inside of a circular area; often there is singing involved. There were many different classes of dancers, and classifications were usually made based on age.

There was a "Boys and Girls" class, "Juniors" class, "Teen" class, "Adult" class, "Golden Age" class and "Golden Golden Age" class; the "Golden Golden Age" class consisted of dancers who were 63-years-old and older.

Each of these groups participated in various competitions throughout the course of the three day event. On each of these three days there were grand entries, when dance participants of all ages gathered together in the circular arena to dance.

But dancing was not the only way that American Indians at the event celebrated their heritage. Song was another way for these individuals to not only connect with their culture and their history, but to share those things with members of the audience.

On June 12, Tiinesha Begaye of the Navajo-Cree performed a song that she composed herself in her native language. So did Blackfeet singer Aurora Bearchild Mamea.

The event was emceed by Thomas Phillips of the Kiowa-Muscogee Creek. Phillips remarked to his audience that he’s been to the Pechanga Pow Wow for many of the 19 years that it’s taken place, but that it always seems to grow with each passing year.

"Every year it gets better and better," Phillips said, pointing to the green lush grass in the circular area where the dancing was taking place. He said he thought the various classes of dancers would appreciate such a nice area to celebrate their culture and dance.

Food was another part of the event and there were dozens of options to choose from. There were barbeque booths as well as booths offering up traditional Indian staples like fry bread, a kind of flat bread that is made with lard and flower.

Fry bread has a history dating back to the time that Natives were fist being sent to reservations. They were given portions of certain staples like lard and flower and these were used to make the dough, which is often served up as a base for tacos.

Lucy Hale’s Indian Tacos was a favorite for fry bread at the event for many who attended. Dozens lined up on July 13 to get a taste of the bread.

Sandra Hale, owner of the booth, said she learned to cook the fry bread from her 77-year-old mother Lucy and added that her booth was different than others because the dough for the fry bred wasn’t pre-prepared.

"We make our own dough," Hale said. "Some of those other dudes, they use a machine."

Hale said that she mixes the ingredients and makes the dough right before it gets fried. She said freshly-made dough results in fluffier fry bread than the kind that’s already prepared. She said that as of that day she had gone through 20 bags of flower.

"You can tell people like it," she said. "Just look at the line."

The three day event ended at 5 p.m. that day and dancers were presented with awards.

The sun may have set on the Pechanga Pow Pow but it will be back this same time next year and guests will be able to eat, shop and watch dances once again.


 

1 comments

Comment Profile ImageTodd Kelsey
Comment #1 | Saturday, Jul 19, 2014 at 11:05 am
Good article. Love the photo of the male dancer with the bobcat headdress and face paint. I didn't see Billy Mills mentioned as honorary MC. He is a hero for many Native Americans, a gold medal Olympian (and only American to win the 10,000 meter race), and heads a charity that helps Native American youths promoting fitness and health called Running Strong. A success from the Lakota reservation.

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.

 

Add your Comment


Name

Images, Formatting, or HTML is not allowed : plain text only. You may post up to 5 website addresses within your comment.




Disclaimer

The Valley News has tightened its' policy regarding comments.
While we invite you to contribute your opinions and thoughts, we request that you refrain from using vulgar or obscene words and post only comments that directly pertain to the specific topic of the story or article.
Comments that are derogatory in nature have a high likelihood for editing or non-approval if they carry the possibility of being libelous.
The comment system is not intended as a forum for individuals or groups to air personal grievances against other individuals or groups.
Please, no advertising or trolling.
In posting a comment for consideration, users understand that their posts may be edited as necessary to meet system parameters, or the post may not be approved at all. By submitting a comment, you agree to all the rules and guidelines described here.
Most comments are approved or disregarded within one business day.

RSS FeedFacebookTwitter



Advertisement for Broken Yolk





Subscribe


Most Commented


Reach Local Customers



The Valley News The Valley News
760-723-7319 - 1588 S. Mission Rd. Suite 200, Fallbrook CA 92028
All contents copyright ©2014
About Us
Earthquake Information
Business Listings
Contact Us
Letter to the Editor
Report a website error
Sitemap
Online Digital Edition
RSS Feeds
Login