The Pow Wow is a three-day event full of music and dance that is both a celebration and competition with participants vying for prizes and honoring enduring Native traditions. The first day begins around sundown, with an elder blessing the grounds with sage and offering a prayer for good spirit and a good time.
Always the second week in October, the 2019 San Manuel Pow-Wow is on Friday, October 11th, Saturday, October 12th and Sunday, October 13th.
The annual event will be held on California State University, San Bernardino’s athletic field.
It’s free to the public and filled with lots of Native American culture, music, dance, food and cash prizes.
Some cultural traditions at the Pow Wow include special songs such as flag, honor, memorial, veteran, prayer, closing, and any other song so designated by the emcee. When one is sung, stand and remove your cap or hat during its entirety.
Traditional music will be performed and Pow Wow attendees are encouraged to dance.
Authentic Native American dishes and novelty items will be available for purchase from vendors.
Over $250,000 in cash prizes will be given out to contestants competing in the native dance and singing competitions.
The Pow Wow is a three-day event of music and dance that is both a celebration and competition with participants vying for prizes and honoring enduring Native traditions. The first day begins around sundown, with an elder blessing the grounds with sage and offering a prayer for good spirit and a good time. This is traditionally followed by an exhibition of bird singing and dancing.
The grand entry follows after which it’s time for the dancing (contest, exhibition, and intertribal). At the end of the evening, there is a small procession removing the flags from the arena proper, which ends each day.
Two grand entries highlight Saturday’s schedule, one in the afternoon, the other in the evening. Exhibitions of gourd dancing by Southern tribal representatives and bird singing/dancing precede the afternoon session; and a bird singing/dancing exhibition takes place before the evening’s grand entry.
Both of the Grand Entries are followed by more dancing (contest, exhibition, and intertribal). Sunday features one grand entry in the afternoon, which is again preceded by exhibitions of gourd dancing and bird singing/dancing.
Then, it’s time for the climactic round of contest dancing. It’s the last opportunity for all of the competitors to impress the judges. Once that is over, the judges’ votes are tabulated, the winners announced, and prizes awarded.
Unlike the other two days, however, there is a more formal, spiritual closing ceremony that marks the official end of the Pow Wow.
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