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Celebrating life 2012
Pow-wow brings visitors from Canada and all over the nation
Colorful costumed dancers and singing were all part of the recent three day Tule River Pow-wow, which was presented by the Tule River Band of Yokuts,
Held at the McCarthy Ranch on Reservation Road it contained a variety of dancing contests, food and vendor booths that featured jewelry, blankets and basket weaving.
“We’re demonstrators. We came to show baskets and weaving,” said Tule River Basket Weaver and tribe member Nicole Larsen who along with her niece Kat Nieto had a booth set up to show visitors bowls, acorns and pottery made out of deergrass, redbud and sourberry. Larsen’s grandmothers and great grandmothers, on both sides of her family, were all basket weavers and it came natural to her.
Harold Santos, Powow commission chairman, seemed pretty pleased.
“It’s going good and running smooth,” said Santos.
On Saturday, the Pow-wow featured a variety of events including a special tribute and a grand entrance. The special tribute involved a blanket which was placed inside the arena and eight members who were then placed in a receiving line. While the aforementioned members sang, danced and shook rattles; other dancers, and the public, were allowed to go up and offer something to them.
A gourd dance, in which some of the receiving line members were dispersed throughout the arena, was then performed with the participants tapping their feet and rattles to the beat of the drum.
At noon came the grand entry. As the drums poured fourth notes almost 400 dancers, in every type of colorful regalia decorated with feathers, beads and cloth streamers, twisted, whirled or gracefully stepped into the arena. Among them was Stacy Makesgood.
Makesgood, of the Oglala Lakota nation, traveled from Pine Ridge, South Dakota to attend the celebration and pointed out that the powow allows people of all backgrounds to come together.
“To get to know something about each other and get rid of ignorance and stereotypes,” said Makesgood.
Dressed in a rainbow colored frock with a multicolored green, blue and red beaded necklace was Elder Emerson Nakai, a dancer of the Navajo Nation from Cedar City, Utah, who twisted and kept to the timing of the drums. Nakai represented just one of what he estimated to be about 30 to 40 tribes that had gathered for the event.
First time attendee James Lindsay, from Tulare, came with his daughter.
“It’s pretty awesome,” said Lindsay who added that his favorite part was the participation of the dancers who ranged in age form young children to the elderly.
The Northern host drum, Northern Cree from Canada, and the southern host drum, Wild Band of Comanches from Oklahoma, provided the music.