American Indian culture celebrated at powwow

first_imgBoth absorbed the flavor of the colorful event, the rhythmic drumming, singing and chanting and changing streams of dancers young and old. The powwow is being held for the 14th year at William S. Hart Park. Apache drummer Joe Mancha said the American Indian community members must assimilate into modern society in their everyday life, but the special gatherings give them a place to celebrate their ancestral roots and connections. The annual event is a place to go, and at the same time, to “be at home.” “The drum is the first instrument God gave to man,” Mancha said. “It’s the heartbeat of the animal the (drum) skins come from. It’s basically the first way man sang out to God – you sing out from your heart.” Walter Graywolf, a purveyor of contemporary and vintage craft items, was watching the clock for the arrival of actress and singer Irene Bedard, an American Indian who has appeared in many films and was the model for Pocahontas in Disney’s film of the same name. The two are members of a band, which was due to perform. Graywolf’s company re-created Lakota artifacts for the film “Hidalgo” and carved the Chumash deer-bone hairpin oddly worn in the braided hair of actor Johnny Depp in both “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies. NEWHALL – Angeles Pena would be normally decked out in full Navajo tribal regalia as he performed traditional dances at the annual Native American Heritage Pow-Wow. But this year, the U.S. Forest Service wildland arson investigator was dressed in his work uniform – albeit with a vintage turquoise and silver belt buckle – updating tribe members about the Day Fire that has consumed more than 117,000 acres in the Los Padres and Angeles national forests. The two-day event was not all work for Pena, who planned to don his tribal garb later in the day – or at least in time for today’s festivities. “I’ve always looked at (regalia) as clothing worn in battle,” he said of his work clothes. “This would have to be my everyday regalia.” Pena was accompanied by Pete Crowheart, a tribal relations program manager for the Forest Service and liaison for the Chumash tribe. Crowheart is monitoring rock paintings and sacred tribal sites in the forest to make sure they are protected from accidental damage by crews digging fire lines. [email protected] (661) 257-5255160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more