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24th Annual Morongo Thunder and Lightning Powwow Set for This Weekend

24th Annual Morongo Thunder and Lightning Powwow Set for This Weekend
The Morongo Band of Mission Indians will celebrate its 24th Annual Thunder and Lightning Powwow starting today this afternoon Friday Sept. 26. Admission and parking are free for the three-day, family-friendly event which is expected to attract an estimated 25,000 people. One of the most highly anticipated powwows of the year, Morongo’s celebration of American Indian culture is highlighted by a daily Grand Entry. This vibrant parade of color and sound features hundreds of dancers in traditional regalia swirling to the sounds of dozens of competitive drum groups and singers. Spectators will see dancers representing tribal nations from across the United States and Canada as they compete for prize money. Other events include bird singing and dancing contests along with gourd dancing exhibitions. Native American food vendors will be on hand selling Indian tacos, tamales and Indian frybread. Authentic Native American arts and crafts including jewelry, beadwork, pottery, clothing and basketry items will be available for purchase from more than 50 artisans. WHO: Morongo Band of Mission Indians dignitaries Est. 650 competitive dancers, singers & performers Est. 25 drum groups Thousands of spectators Native food vendors and traditional crafter WHEN: Powwow & Indian Market Friday Sept. 26: 4 pm – 12 am Saturday Sept. 27: 10 am –12 am Sunday Sept. 28: 10 am – 6 pm   Color Guard and Grand Entry Friday Sept. 26: 8 pm Saturday Sept. 27: 1 pm & 7 pm Sunday Sept. 28: 1pm WHERE: Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon, CA‎ 92230 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Powwows are social gatherings of hundreds of Native Americans who follow traditional dances started centuries ago by their ancestors, which continually evolve to include contemporary aspects. The Grand Entry is a Native American tradition that signifies the opening of each Powwow session. During the Grand Entry, competitive dance troupes and drummers can score points for competition based on regalia, performance and other categories. The event begins with the presentation of colors, starting with an Eagle Staff, followed by the American flag, California state flag and the Morongo tribal flag. What is bird singing? The bird songs and dances of the Cahuilla Indians chronicle the experiences and responses of the Cahuilla people as they migrated south. Through bird metaphor and allegory, the songs also act as lessons that instruct tribal members about stages in their lives. The original Cahuilla Bird Songs were composed of more than 300 pieces that formed a cycle of stories. Songs were sung in a precise order that accurately accounted for the chronology of the migration. SCHEDULE Friday, September 26th 4:00 pm Morongo Indian Market Opens · Blessing of the Dance Arena · Bird Singers and Dancers 5:30 pm Gourd Dancing 7:45 pm Drum Call 8:00 pm Color Guard Grand Entry Flag Ceremony Invocation Dance and Drum Contests Saturday, September 27th (day) 10:00 am Morongo Indian Market Opens 11:00 am Gourd Dancing 12:45 pm Drum Call 1:00 pm Color Guard Grand Entry Flag Ceremony Invocation Introduction of Dignitaries & Guests Recognition of Visiting Indian Royalty Inter-Tribal Dance Drum Contest Saturday, September 27th (evening) 5:00 pm Bird Singing and Dancing Contest 6:45 pm Drum Call 7:00 pm Color Guard Grand Entry · Flag Ceremony · Invocation Introduction of Dignitaries & Guests Recognition of Visiting Indian Royalty Inter-Tribal Dance · Drum Contests 12:00 am Grand Exit Sunday, September 28th 10:00 am Morongo Indian Market Opens 11:00 am Gourd Dancing 12:45 pm Drum Call 1:00 pm Color Guard Grand Entry · Flag Ceremony · Invocation Inter-Tribal Dance · Drum Contests 6:00 pm Grand Exit All times are approximate and subject to change.
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