By Brooke Holland

Noozhawk Staff Writer

Native American dancers from all over North America showcased drumming, dancing and music during the 23rd annual Chumash Inter-Tribal Pow-Wow at Live Oak Camp in the Santa Ynez Valley on the weekend of Oct. 6.

The annual ceremony hosted by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians draws more than 300 members of tribal nations from across the United States and Canada.

Dancing categories include traditional, straight, fancy, grass, jingle dress, buckskin and cloth dancing. More than $50,000 in prize money is offered.

The event also offers Native American food and craft booths.

“Our annual pow-wow gives us the opportunity to gather with tribes from throughout North America and honor our Native American heritage,” said Kenneth Kahn, tribal chairman for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.

“We’re especially thankful to the elders who attend and teach our next generation of youth about carrying on our Native American traditions.”

The pow-wow got underway with a gourd dance at noon Saturday, followed by a grand entry at 1 p.m., marking the beginning of the pow-wow in which all dancers enter single-file behind flags.

The master of ceremonies provided directions for the dancers and the public and information about the songs, competitions and dances.

The pow-wow is an annual effort of a committee of Chumash tribal volunteers who plan, organize and operate the gathering.

The committee’s goal is to provide the community with educational and cultural experiences focusing on Native American music, arts and customs while also promoting native self-reliance and pride.


Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at