Native American heritage and tradition is the focus of the 28th annual Morongo Thunder and Lightning Pow Wow. This weekend thousands of people are expected to participate.
An estimated 25,000 people are expected to attend the event, starting Friday, Sept. 21. The free three-day, family-friendly event is a celebration of traditional Native American culture through dance, music and art.
“You can feel the electricity in there. There is just so much energy and the dancers are coming in. And it’s really just a showcase of the different styles. It’s very colorful and the crowd really gets into it,” said Pow Wow Committee Coordinator Raymond Huaute.
The Grand Entry sets the stage for each day with a vibrant parade of color and sound that features hundreds of dancers in traditional regalia swirling to the music of dozens of competitive drum groups and singers.
“The regalia is designed and put together by each dancer. This is an extremely meticulous process,” said Huaute. “And if you look at the bead work, each one of those rows of beads is put on by hand. And usually they go with the color and symbols that represent their tribes, their family. So each outfit is unique and it takes a lot of time.”
Spectators will see bird singing and Native American drummers, along with dancers from across North America and Canada at this alcohol-free event. Dozens of Native American vendors will be selling Indian tacos, tamales, and fry-bread, as well as authentic Native American jewelry, bead work, pottery, clothing, and basketry items.
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