Pala tribe hosts fourth annual powwow

North County Times 8.22.11
Pala tribe hosts fourth annual powwow

A young man performs fancy dancing at the 2010 Pala Powwow, which returns Aug. 26-28.


PALA ---- The Pala Band of Mission Indians will host its fourth annual powwow next weekend.

Titled "Honoring Traditions," the powwow will feature all-ages dancing contests with cash prizes totaling more than $20,000. Organizers expect several hundred people to attend.

The event begins at 8 a.m. Friday and continues through 5 p.m. Aug. 28. Major events take place Saturday and include an exhibition of "shinny" (a turf-style version of hockey), bird singing and a peon contest starting at 7 p.m. (peon is a tribal game that goes into the wee hours).

Each day will also include a Grand Entry, where costumed dancers and drummers from different tribes parade through the festival grounds. They take place at 8 p.m. Friday, 1 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Aug. 28.

This year's dance contests include all-ages dance competitions in traditional, chicken, grass/jingle and fancy dancing. This year there will be three new games of skill inspired by the hunting techniques of the past. In the rabbit stick contest, participants try to hit targets by throwing a boomerang-like stick (the curved branches were once used to hunt game). There will be a homemade bow and arrow contest, where participants will be judged on distance and accuracy. And in the "hoop and holler" contest, contestants try to throw a spear through a rolling hoop.

Although there won't be a drumming contest this year, the tribe is hosting drum groups from all over the country who will perform continuously throughout the festival. Professional drumming groups include Young Spirit, Pipestone Creek, The Boyz, Big Foot Confederacy, Cree Confederation, Mandaree, Sizzortail and the Wild Band of Comanches. The public is invited to bring their own drums and join in.

There will also be arts, crafts and food booths.

The powwow will be held on the grounds of the Pala Rey Youth Camp, 10779 Highway 76 in Pala. Call the Cupa Cultural Center at 760-891-3590 or visit

Pala Band of Mission Indians

More information...