Pow Wow returns for 33rd year this weekend
By Maritza Diaz
Indian art and dance will be celebrated
this weekend as the 33rd annual Pow Wow
comes to Cal State Long Beach.
A powwow is a gathering of American Indian
artists, dancers, singers, their families
and the public to celebrate the culture,
said Craig Stone, CSULB professor and advisor
to the event.
The goal of the event is to show the strong
American Indian presence at CSULB, which
is located on the sacred ground of Puvungna,
a Tongva village site. Puvungna has been
translated to mean the “Gathering Place”
and the “Place from which all stems,” according
to the American Indian Student Council.
The event, which will take place on the
upper quad, will include American Indian
vendors selling traditional and contemporary
art, and American Indian food such as Navajo
Tacos, corn soup, and buffalo burgers.
The CSULB Pow Wow will also include contests,
inter-tribal dancing and hand drum contests.
“Powwows are different depending on where
they take place. This powwow is a blending
of many different powwow styles from the
United States and Canada. We have incorporated
many aspects of other powwows to our powwow,”
Anna Nazarian-Peters, adviser to the American
Indian Student Council, said.
About 6,000 people come to the event each
year and a large turn out is expected this
year as well, Stone said.
“We have people coming from Arizona, North
Dakota and Canada,” Nazarian said.
The event is expected to have many singing
groups and contest dancers that will be
presenting different dance styles.
The event is sponsored by various organizations
on campus and is being put together by faculty
and students from the American Indian studies
“It is amazing to think that the students
and staff at CSULB have been organizing
this celebration for 33 years,” Stone said.
The CSULB Pow Wow is the largest spring
powwow in Southern California. The main
focus of the event this year is the competition
dancing. This year’s gathering is dedicated
to champion fancy dancer, Shane Dean Zotigh,
who was killed last summer while trying
to save a friend’s life this past summer,
Members from the Sioux, Chumash, Assiniboine
and many more tribes are part of the head
staff this year. The event begin at 11 a.m.
on Saturday with the Gourd Dancing ceremony,
and continue with other events until 10
p.m. The activities on Saturday are limited
to two events.
“While 33 years of gathering at CSULB makes
us one of the oldest powwows in Southern
California, we are always conscious that
we continue in a tradition of Native American
gathering here at Puvungna,” Stone said.
Stone describes the event as a sort of homecoming
for American Indian alumni of CSULB and