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UPDATED: American Indian Pow Wow set for Sept. 26-27

Organizers seek vendors

Posted: July 30, 2009 6:05 p.m.
Updated: September 17, 2009 6:29 p.m.

The Friends of William S. Hart Park & Museum and the county of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation will present the 16th Annual American Indian Pow Wow and Native American Craft Fair on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 26-27 at William S. Hart Regional Park & Museum.

This year's Pow Wow has "The Gathering of Native American Tribes" art show and wildlife exhibits.

Organizers have put out a call for arts and crafts, food and beverage vendors, performers and amusements in the spirit of this Native American festival. The space fees are vendor-friendly to encourage hand-made, home crafts and fine art sellers.

This is a call for Native American Indian Artists or artists who create works dealing with Native American Indian themes. All medias, art on nature, Native American Indians, wilderness and wildlife is welcomed.

No entry fee and no restrictions (framed or unframed). Excepting art the week of September 20 thru the 25.

The art show opens 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday with a potluck reception and public viewing is Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

This year's event features inter-tribal dancing, birds of prey demonstrations, the children's crafts area with Chumash songs and stories as told by native food and arts and crafts traders Ted and Dennis Garcia.

All drums and dancers are also welcome.

MC Mike Reifel is the host and Victor Chavez is the arena director.
Head Dancer: K.C. Clark
Head Woman Dancer: Cathy Jimenez
Northern Host Drum: Blue Star
Southern Host Drum: Hale & Company

The fair opens at 10 a.m. each day and entry is free to the public.

Here are some elements of the traditional pow-wow:
* The complete structure of a pow-wow has to be approved and have a blessing by Tribal Elders presented by a pow-wow committee
* There is always an Arena Blessing
* It is a sober event - no alcohol, drugs tolerated
* There is a a grand entry (no one is allowed to enter the arena from the side lines)

Most pow-wows have:
* MC: the voice of the pow-wow, keeps singers, dancers and the public informed on what's happening. Sets the schedule of events and ensure drum rotation, also runs raffles and fills dead air time.
* Arena Director: makes sure dancers are dancing during the pow-wow and that the drum groups know what type of song to sing; organizes ceremonies and guards for proper respect for the arena.
* Headmen Dancer: Head dancers lead the others in the Grand Entry or parade of dancers that opens a pow-wow. In many cases they are responsible for leading the dancers during the songs. Most times, dancers won't enter the arena unless the head dancers are already
* Eagle Staff: They are the committee who runs the pow-wow, this staff commands respect and are chosen because of their skill and dedication.
* Northern Host Drum: Drum groups are responsible for providing music for dancers and can be two groups to many groups (Large Inter-Tribal Pow-wows).
* Southern Host Drum: Same

The drums are judged on the quality of their performances, with prizes to winners. The groups are hired and rotate the duty of providing songs. Each drum has a lead singer and may lead the flag song, veterans or victory song, starting song grand entry retreat song or closing to the pow-wow.

The pow-wow is often set up as a series of large circles. The center is the dance arena. The larger is an area for spectators and participants. The larger circle is often covered by committee sponsored tents. They provide shelter from the sun and rain.

Pow-wows sessions begin with the Grand Entry and in most cases a prayer. The Eagle Staff lead followed by flags held by veterans and active duty persons, then dancers. It is sacred in nature and many do not allow photography.

Then head dancers, then in specific order: Men's Traditional, Men's Grass Dance, Men's Fancy, Women's Traditional, Women's Jingle and Women's Fancy, then teens and small children in the same order.

Following the Grand Entry, the MC will invite a respected member of the community to give an invocation.

There is a flag song, followed by a Victory or Veterans's Song, during which the flags and staffs are posted at the MC's table.

The most common dances are/is the intertribal dance, where a drum will sing a song and anyone who wants to can come and dance. There are open dances, contests dances for a particular style and age group. To compete in a contest, the dancer must be in regalia appropriate for the competition

Find the William S. Hart Regional Park & Museum at 24151 Newhall Ave., Newhall 91321.


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