September 4, 2011 (Lakeside) -- The White Tail and New Moon families, members of a southern Cheyenne tribe, have traveled all the way from Oklahoma to Lakeside to participate in the Barona Pow-Wow. The three day event, which concludes today, draws tribal participants from across North America.
Some are drawn by family ties, coming together in the annual reunion. Others compete for money prizes in competitions that keep alive traditional dance and drumming skills. Still others are skilled craftsmen and artisans who come to this and other pow-wows to display and sell their wares.
Werika is a member of the Huichol tribe in Jalisco, Mexico. His beautiful and intricate beaded frogs, lizards, parrots, jaguars and other creations are for sale at the pow-wow and are also on display at the Heritage of the Americas Museum in Rancho San Diego.
Each creation takes about two days to make, says Werika. But every work of art has a deeper meaning. "It extends our prayers out into the community," he says.
As dusk fades into darkness, the night is filled with sounds of chants, gourd rattles and drums as tribal members take the field at the pow-wow grounds just north of Barona Casino. Elders pass along the traditional steps to their children and grandchildren, participating together in traditions that date back hundreds or even thousands of years.
View a video of pow-wow dancing at the Barona pow-wow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50xr_gEGK08