Chumash Pow-Wow gathers multiple tribes for celebration

Star Report

Native American dancing, singing and drumming will be on display during the 21st annual Chumash Inter-Tribal Pow-Wow at the Live Oak Campground in Santa Ynez. The two-day gathering will be held from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, October 1 and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2.

This year’s theme is “Weaving the Story of Our Future.”

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.

“Thousands of spectators attend the pow-wow each year,” said Kenneth Kahn, Tribal Chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.  “It is a great opportunity to share our Chumash heritage with tribal people, who come from different parts of the country, and members of our local community.”

The Chumash Inter-Tribal Pow-Wow draws members of tribal nations from across 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 cost is $5. The camping fee is $25. For more information on the pow-wow, call (805) 688-7997.