A glimpse into the life and faces of the Native American Indian tribes of North America

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Nearly 300 Native American tribes from the United States and Canada descended upon the Barona Indian Reservation over the weekend in the 43rd Annual Barona Powwow. With drums, songs and dances of prayer, victory and celebration tribes shared cultural traditions and ceremony, bringing to light to hundreds of spectators that the way of the Native American is alive and well today and strengthened by common bonds.

Nearly 300 Native American tribes from the United States and Canada descended upon the Barona Indian Reservation over the weekend in the 43rd Annual Barona Powwow. With drums, songs and dances of prayer, victory and celebration tribes shared cultural traditions and ceremony, bringing to light to hundreds of spectators that the way of the Native American is alive and well today and strengthened by common bonds.

Each evening began with Gourd Dancing, handed down from the Kiowa, that after being passed down generations has become an integral part of the Powwow’s engendered and intertribal social dance.

In tradition, this is followed by the Grand Entry, where everyone stands as the U.S. Flag, Eagle Staff and Tribal Flag are paraded into the arena or sacred circle and followed by all the Elders, Tribal Chiefs, Princesses, and powwow organizers, the men dancers, women and children dancers as they sing to the drums of prayer, celebration and victory.

Everything in the powwow has purpose, and each day was filled with events and dance contests, for hand drums and dancers with more than $60,000 in prize money.

This event was held at the Barona Baseball Field in Lakeside, free to the public and after the Grand Entry a blanket was laid in the middle of the arena for donations from tribe members and the public, giving thanks for the opportunity to gather together with both Native Americans and friends.

The 24th Annual Sycuan Powwow will be held Sept. 13-15 at the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, 5459 Sycuan Road in El Cajon, with drum, singing, hand drum and Chicken Dance contests with up to $125,000 in prize money. For more information about the next Powwow in East County go to www.sycuantribe.org/pow-wow/2013-pow-wow.

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