Cuyamaca College holds inaugural powwow

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Beginning with opening prayer, the solemn Gourd Dance and the Grand Procession, the Native American Student Alliance honored its own Native American heritage with its first ever powwow on Feb. 7 on the campus of Cuyamaca College.

The Alliance’s vice-president, Ms. Teka Tsosie, was on hand and said that the Alliance first came up with the idea of hosting the powwow about a year ago.

Beginning with opening prayer, the solemn Gourd Dance and the Grand Procession, the Native American Student Alliance honored its own Native American heritage with its first ever powwow on Feb. 7 on the campus of Cuyamaca College.

The Alliance’s vice-president, Ms. Teka Tsosie, was on hand and said that the Alliance first came up with the idea of hosting the powwow about a year ago.

N.S.A.S.’s main purpose is to promote tribal heritage and to educate others through activities and educational opportunities according to Tsosie and her fellow eight other board members. The board members represent tribes such as the Apache, Paiute, Yaqui, Shoshone, Mazahua, Navajo, and others.

Generous sponsors of the event included the Barona Band of Mission Indians, the San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission Indians, and the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Nation.

Indian crafts, Indian foods such as fry bread and Indian tacos plus other food vendors, and as N.A.S.A. noted in their program that a powwow historically features competitive dancing this event also had plenty of grass dancing.

The Host Northern Drum—Cali Boys and Host Southern Drum Hale & Company provided strong drumming skills to the grass dancing taking place in the Cuyamaca College gym. Drumming that could be heard loud and clear on the college campus towards the end of the daylong event.

Tsosie’s sister, Seqouia Galvan, is Miss U.C.S.D. 2014-2015-Native American, appeared in her tribal outfit and danced as well during the day. Incidentally California schools recognize the 4th Friday of September as the official Native American holiday. 

Tsosie put the attendance for this first time event for Cuyamaca at 100. The head staff was partly comprised of Master of Ceremonies John Dawson, Arena Director Shiigo Yellowhouse, Head Man Nico Phoenix, and Head Woman Jackie Gillissie Davidson among others.

Colorful feather headdresses, unique tribal outfits with beading and feathers, moccasins, and other Indian articles all added a feeling of true authenticity to this event.

Galvan’s mother along with Galvan herself purchased part of the beads needed to make her costume at Escondido’s Dancing Bear Indian Trader Store. Galvan’s dream outfit would be made of buckskin.