Local tribe powwows coming this fall

From Soboba to San Manuel, see the best in Native American art and culture

Photo by Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians
The powwow is a festive time of year celebrating arts, culture, and community.

■ Robin Underwood / Contributed

Fall is the season for special kinds of gatherings. One in particular is known as the Southern California Pow Wow offering locals a chance to learn more about Native American culture.
The Southern California Pow Wow Circuit is made up of all the tribes in the Southern California area. Each tribe has its own weekend to host a powwow competition for visiting tribes before heading off to the next powwow with another tribe, usually not too far off.

Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians
The Soboba Powwow will be held the weekend of Sept. 14 located at the Soboba Event Center and is open to the public.

The powwow tradition comes from the Plains Indians. Around the 1990’s, local tribes organized together and adopted the tradition. They scheduled designated weekends that became traditional events while adding in their own individual customs of song and dance.
All powwows are free and open to public, creating a chance to learn more about the various tribes, which visit from throughout the country. They bring with them their languages, dress, songs, dances, and handmade artwork. Much of the artwork is for sale from vendors who are located on the outskirts of the arena that hosts these events.
If you haven’t been to a powwow, be sure not to miss the “Grand Entry,” which is always on the powwow schedule to encapsulate the event as a whole. This is when all competing tribes come out one by one, spilling out onto the arena floor, filling the area until there’s no space left. The audience sees a beautiful display of colorful regalia and outfits, with participants dancing to the tunes played by the various drum groups who surround the dancers on the arena floor. It’s an outing for the entire family to learn more about the tribes.
The following is the schedule of powwows for a few of the local tribes in the area.

Soboba Tribe: Sept. 14-16
Location: Outside arena adjacent to the casino.
Times:
Friday 7 p.m.
Saturday: 1:30-8 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m.
Grand Entry: Saturday, 8 p.m.

Morongo: Sept. 21-23
Location: Just off Interstate 10 in Cabazon, located in a tented, air conditioned arena just outside the hotel and casino.
Times:
Friday 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Grand Entry: Saturday, 8 p.m.

San Manuel: Oct. 12-14
Location: Cal State San Bernardino
Times:
Friday 1 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Grand Entry: Saturday, 8 p.m.

Barona: Aug. 31–Sept. 2
Location: Barona Sports Park in Lakeside, California
Times:
Friday 6 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Saturday: 1 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Grand Entry: Saturday, 8 p.m.

Robin Underwood
Performers take the stage and indulge the audience with Native American culture.
Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians
Native Americans wear their most colorful costumes, a tradition during powwow festivities.
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
The San Manuel Powwow will be held the weekend of Oct. 12 located at Cal State San Bernardino and is free to the public.

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