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.
Photo courtesy Soboba Casino

The Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians invites the community and public to the 22nd-annual Soboba Inter-Tribal Pow Wow set for Friday to Sunday, Sept. 14, to 16, at the Soboba Event Center next to Soboba Casino in San Jacinto. This will be a family friendly event with free admission and parking, and 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 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,” has historically 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 more than 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.

Drawing participants from all across North America, the weekend features some spectacular events not to be missed. These include:

• Dance Contest, Drum Contest and Special Contest: Contest registration is at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14. The Special Contest will be announced during the pow wow.

• The Gourd Dance will take place at noon Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15 and 16.

• The Grand Entry will occur at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, 1:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept 15, and 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept 16.

• Saturday Evening Gathering is from 5 to 7:30 p.m. with bird singing and dancing at the Soboba Event Center. Registration for the event is from 3 to 5 p.m. through Joe Ontiveros at 951-663-5279. The evening also will feature Peon Games, a traditional Southern California Indian gambling game, next to the Soboba Event Center. For more information on Peon Games, call Martin Valdez at 951-692-1435.

The 22nd-annual Soboba Inter-Tribal Pow Wow is a unique opportunity for the public to come together with the Soboba community to celebrate and learn about the history of our land. Sponsorship and vendor opportunities still exist and local businesses are encouraged to participate.

For 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/powwow.

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