The Morongo Band of Mission Indians plans to host its 23rd Annual Thunder and Lightning Powwow, with free admission and free parking outside Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, Friday Sept. 27 to Sunday Sept. 29.
Hundreds of competitive dancers and drummers in hand-crafted regalia are coming to Cabazon to share Native American traditions from across the United States and Canada.
Danita Goodwill, 37, a member of the Osage Nation from Fairfax,
Oklahoma, tried to describe the anticipation just before the Grand Entry two years ago.
"Me and my husband spent more than a year making this," Goodwill said
of her hand-beaded, buckskin regalia. "It is a great moment, as you can
see all the people here."
As night fell in September 2011, scores of dancers and drummers mingled outside the
large venue tent set up with bleachers for hundreds of people who came
to watch and applaud.
Marissa Two Two, half Tohono O'odham and half Lakota, from Tucson,
Arizona, and Farica Prince, Lakota from Sioux Valley, Manitoba in
Canada, said the Thunder and Lightning Pow Wow is a reunion for many.
"It is a big family at the pow wow," Two Two said. "We are happy to be here."
The three-day pow wow is a celebration of Native American dance, music and culture.
Each day features Color Guard Grand Entry parades, followed by flag ceremonies, then dance and drum contests.
Organizers with the host Morongo tribe expect up to 30,000 people to attend this year's event.
Native American food vendors will be on hand selling Indian tacos, tamales and Indian frybread, according to organizers. Authentic Native American arts and crafts including jewelry, beadwork, pottery, clothing and basketry items will be available for purchase from more than 50 artisans.
Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa is at 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon.
For previous Thunder & Lightning coverage from Banning-Beaumont Patch see: