Pahrump Powwow Presents Native American Culture

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NOTNovember is National Native American Heritage Month and there’s no better time to celebrate the vibrant culture of the country’s many Native American tribes.

Each year in the Pahrump Valley, November welcomes the coming of the Pahrump Intertribal Social Powwow, a gathering of community and tribal members from a wide range of Native American nations, all gathered to share the rich history and traditions of the First Nations. peoples of America. . Taking place last weekend, from Friday 19 November to Sunday 21 November, at Petrack Park, the Pahrump Social Powwow was a huge success, the event organizers are raving about the result and everyone is already enthusiastic. at the idea of ​​the return of the event. in 2022.

“We were really lucky to have such a great weather this year,” said Paula Elefante, Pahrump Powwow committee member, when all is said and done. “Over the years we’ve experienced everything from hot and cold to the wind, to the rain and even a little snow, but the weather this year was perfect.”

Elefante said the total attendance was estimated at over 1,000, noting, “The turnout was excellent and people lined up at six or seven depths to watch the dancers.”

Indeed, the Pahrump Valley Times witnessed this same scene on Saturday afternoon, with a crowd of participants completely circling the dance area, some seated on bleachers, others in their own camp chairs and some in even collapsing to the ground for performance. The audience’s appreciation for the cultural outpouring was evident as people chatted with each other, noticing the incredible array of badges, the grace of the dancers themselves, and the talent of the northern and southern drummers who beat the rhythms while interweaving their strong voices. with the songs of their people.

There were many types of dance for the customers, with Elefante explaining, “The different styles of dancing at Powwow started with the Gourd Dancers, these are the Native American veterans, then there was Aztec, Fancy, Traditional, Grass, Jingle Dressed dancers and fancy shawls. Members of many different tribes were present at the Pow Wow including Navajo, Sioux, Cherokee, Onondaga, Ojibwa, Apache, Shoshone, San Luiseno, Chumash, Nez Pierce, Apache Mescalero, Sac and Fox, Paiute and Ute, for n ‘ to name a few. “

In addition to all the dance performances, there were also contests for the youngest members of the tribe, with three divisions, Teen Girls and Teen Boys ages 13 to 17, and Junior Boys and Girls ages six to 12. years, as well as Tiny Tots, who participated in a variety of different dance styles. Even the participants themselves were able to try out some moves when they were invited into the circle to dance.

“The audience really enjoyed participating in the round dance and the snake dance with the Aztec dancers and this year we had a candy dance for all the kids. It’s like musical chairs, with the kids dancing around the circle while the drum beats and when the drum stops they are all jostling each other to collect candy, ”Elefante said with obvious pleasure. “We had so many people who stopped by the powwow booth to tell us how much they enjoyed the powwow and that they would be back next year with their families. “

There were also dozens of craft vendors at the Pow Wow this year, offering all kinds of wares, from jewelry, pottery and art to blankets and jackets. There were also eight food vendors on the site, two of whom were selling the ever popular Indian fried bread and Indian tacos, and a new corn vendor, each with stable business throughout the event. “All the vendors behaved well and the food vendors were pretty much out of food by the end of Sunday,” Elefante noted.

Storytelling was a big draw to Powwow patrons over the weekend, with Powwow committee member Sue Zink taking on the role of official storyteller. “The stories shared in the tipi were both oral and read from books,” Zink detailed. “I recited traditional oral histories like the loan of the serpent that saves the Sioux. I also read books that I collected while living on the Navajo reservation. These include: Monster Slayer, Coyote Tales, When Clay sings, The Flute Player, Tato (Hawaii) Alaska Nights and more. People were also encouraged to read the books for themselves. These books and stories help non-natives learn about the culture of many different native tribes. “

Zink also offered his knowledge to educate attendees on other aspects of Native American culture and life, explaining, “I also created a workbook to help people identify their animal mascot by date of birth and how. their animal mascot helps them. People really liked the maps which helped them find the tribes and homelands of our natives. The map of reserves in the United States has been an eye opener for many. Finally, adults and children alike loved making cards using symbol stamps used in ancient stone messages, known today as petroglyphs and found in the mountains surrounding our valley.

Overall, Elefante and her fellow committee members were very pleased with the success of the event and those who took the time to visit the park this weekend were abundant with their positive comments on the Pahrump’s Facebook page. Social Powwow, something that brings added satisfaction to each new comment.

In conclusion, Elefante made sure to thank everyone who worked so hard to bring the Pow Wow to Pahrump this year.

“I want to thank this committee and the volunteers John, Ron, Manny, Pete, Bill, Jim, Kevin, Matthew, Jonathon, Bill, Tom, Jenna, Doris, Rose, Donna, Sue, Gayle, Barbara, Carlene, Laurie, Reva, Lorraine, Michelle and Trinity all did an amazing job of making this year’s Powwow the success it has been. I couldn’t do it without these amazing people, “Elefante said.” Plus we are keen on to thank our sponsors because without their support we could not do this. Thanks to Pahrump Tourism, US Bank, Dolan Ranch LLC., VEA, Crazy Calico, Quality Signs, Tin Hafen and Janet McJunkin, the Angeflami family, the Riveria family , the Hannah family, the Galbraith family, the Elefante family, Pahrump Nevada Genealogical Society and the Pahrump Springs NSDAR Chapter.

Elefante is encouraging everyone to mark their calendar for next year’s event, which is scheduled for November 18-20, 2022 at Petrack Park.

For more information on the Pahrump Intertribal Social Powwow, email [email protected]

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at [email protected]


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