Chumash Inter-Tribal Pow-Wow celebrates Native American traditions Sept. 30-Oct.1

A participant in the Men’s Grass Dancer division at 2016 Chumash Inter-Tribal Pow-Wow at Live Oak Campground. (Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians)

By Veronica V. Sandoval for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.

Native American dancing, singing and drumming will be on display at the 22nd annual Chumash Inter-Tribal Pow-Wow Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at Live Oak Campground in Santa Ynez. The celebration will be held 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.

A gourd dance at noon, followed by a grand entry at 1 p.m., will mark the start of each day of the pow-wow. This is the largest cultural event of the year held by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.

“Our annual inter-tribal pow-wow is a special time that allows us to honor our heritage and traditions,” said Kenneth Kahn, tribal chairman for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.

“It’s also a time for us to share in the beauty of song, dance and prayer alongside old friends, new friends and family,” he said.

The Chumash Inter-Tribal Pow-Wow draws members of tribal nations from across the United States to participate in dancing and drumming competitions. Dancing categories include traditional, straight, fancy and grass dancing. Nearly $45,000 in prize money will be offered.

The event also features 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 festivities.

The goal is to provide the community with educational and cultural experiences focusing on Native American music, arts and customs while 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 reusable water bottles, support the event’s green vendors, and dispose of trash in the proper receptacle bins.

Live Oak Campground is at 4650 Hwy. 154 in Santa Ynez. Admission is free. Parking costs $5. Camping fee is $35.

For more information, call 688-7997 or visit santaynezchumash.org/powwow.html.