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Tribes to Celebrate 50 Years of the Santa Ynez Pow-Wow at Annual Gathering

Two boys compete in a Junior Division dance competition during last year’s Chumash Inter-Tribal Pow-Wow. Click to view larger
Two boys compete in a Junior Division dance competition during last year’s Chumash Inter-Tribal Pow-Wow. (Angelina Hernandez photo)

Native American dancing, singing and drumming from tribes throughout the U.S. will commemorate 50 years of the Santa Ynez Chumash Pow-Wow Oct. 3–4 at Live Oak Campground in Santa Ynez.

The annual inter-tribal event hosted by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4.

This will be the 20th consecutive year the Chumash Inter-Tribal Pow-Wow has been held at Live Oak Campground, but the first in the area occurred in 1965.

“Our tribe’s pow-wows began as fundraisers to bring running water to our reservation,” said Tribal Chairman Vincent Armenta. “Now, 50 years later, it’s an annual cultural and educational event that gives us a chance to share our Chumash heritage with tribes from across the U.S. and members of our local community.”

A gourd dance at noon, followed by a grand entry at 1 p.m., will mark the start each day of the pow-wow, which is the largest cultural event of the year held by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.
The Chumash Inter-Tribal Pow-Wow draws members of tribal nations from throughout the U.S. to participate in dancing and drumming competitions.

Dancing categories include Northern traditional, Southern straight, jingle dress, fancy and grass. More than $45,000 in prize money will be offered. The event will also feature Native American food and crafts booths.

The pow-wow is an annual effort of a committee of Chumash tribal volunteers who plan, organize and operate the two-day event. The committee’s goal is to provide the community with educational and cultural experiences focusing on Native American music, arts and customs while also promoting native self-reliance and pride.

It will be a zero-waste and a non-Styrofoam event, in keeping with the tribe’s commitment to be environmental stewards.

Guests are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles, support the event’s green vendors and dispose of trash in the proper receptacle bins.

Live Oak Campground is located at 4650 Highway 154 in Santa Ynez. Admission is free. Parking costs $5. The camping fee is $25.

For more information on the pow-wow, call 805.688.7997.

— Mike Traphagen is the public relations specialist for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.


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