Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Local Pow Wow Honors the San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians

San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians coordinated their 18th annual Pow Wow on June 14th and June 15th. They have for hundreds, if not thousands of years, lived in the San Luis Rey Valley from generation to generation.  Their development and culture is based upon the land that reared them. The Pow Wow is a unique expression of their culture.

If you have never attended a Pow Wow you may find that the drums, dances, food and products are part of a unique experience. You won’t find this style on Rodeo Drive. This is about life through Native American eyes and their chance to tell their cultural story. 

The San Luis Rey Band of Missions has a history much older than modern day California. The Spanish established the Mission San Luis Rey only in 1798 as part of the El Camino Real trail. The Pow Wow gives a glimpse of that life prior to European influence.

Pow Wow’s affords an opportunity for the tribe to connect and associate with each other and pass on their traditions to the next generation.  Some come and visit their ancestral lands while others choose to engage in the event as a family reunion. 

In today’s world there are six federally recognized San Luis Rey tribes with their own reservations and one band not yet recognized (1).  No one knows for sure what the population size is. Historians and researchers have put the population ranging from a few thousand to over ten thousand. 

The traditional clothing is a representation of their unique connection with the land. Native Americans were part of nature and lived in peace with it.  The feathers have unique symbolism and are badges of honor that represent tribal values (2). 

Pow Wow’s also offer the ability for tribal members to display their crafts, arts, and commerce to the wider public. You will find skins for decoration, woodwork, jewelry, clothing, blankets and artistic expressions. Expand your horizons, visit a Pow Wow, and take a piece of history home with you. 

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