The Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians invites the community and public to the 19th-annual Payomkawichum Soboba Inter-Tribal Pow Wow set to take place from Thursday to Sunday, Sept. 17 to 20, at the Soboba Event Center next to Soboba Casino. This will be a family friendly event with free admission and parking. Everyone is welcome.
This year’s Pow Wow will bring to life the rich history of the Payomkawichum or “People of the West” through song, dance, food and games. It will be a weekend to celebrate and experience cultures, values and traditions with a gathering of Native American tribes from across the country.
A pow wow, derived from the Narragansett word powwaw, meaning “spiritual leader,” historically has been a gathering of North America’s native people. More modern pow wows have become a cultural celebration for Native American and First Nations people to meet, dance, sing, socialize and honor their cultures.
For nearly two decades, Soboba’s pow wow has been a space for the community to meet old friends, make new ones, have fun and dance on their own reservation. Another tradition is Soboba’s outreach to local area schools. The tribe provides buses for local school children to come and be immersed in their culture and heritage that includes a special performance by tribal dancers.
“We are a proud people with a rich history,” said Soboba Tribal member Chuck Castello, “who are inspired by our ancestors to continue our traditions and remember our past. We are excited to share these traditions with our community so that they may better understand our people, our customs and our legacy. It is a wonderful weekend for everyone of every age to come and enjoy themselves.”
Drawing participants from all across North America, the weekend features some spectacular events not to be missed. These include:
• Social Gathering: 6 p.m. Thursday to 1 a.m. Friday, round dance and bird singing at the Sports Complex.
• Drum Contest, Dance Contest and Special Contest: Contest registration at 4 p.m. The Special Contest is still to be announced.
• Gourd Dance: noon Saturday and Sunday.
• Grand Entry: 7 p.m. Friday, 1:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
• Saturday Evening Gathering: 5 to 7:30 p.m., bird singing and dancing at the Soboba Event Center. Registration for the event is open from 3 to 5 p.m. For more information, call Joe Ontiveros at 951-663-5279. The evening also will feature Peon Games, an ancient Kumeyaay Indian game, next to the Soboba Event Center. For more information on Peon Games, call Maurice Chacon at 951-201-9899.
Sponsorship and vendor opportunities still exist and local businesses are encouraged to participate.
For more information regarding these opportunities or for more information about the pow wow, call Andrew Vallejos at 951-654-5544, ext. 4112, or visit www.soboba-nsn.gov/events/powwow.