Tha Pow Wow
By Joe Martone
Want the experience of Dances with Wolves without having to deal with Kevin Costner? Were you too young to understand that sentence but want to expand your cultural horizons and become one with nature? I can’t help you there, but your best bet is going to be Tha Pow Wow. Organized by rapper Tha Native, this gathering has the potential to blow your mind. Get in tune with the beat as drummers compete for cash (they’re giving away more than $60,000 in prizes!) or watch the dancers move in ways you’ve never seen before. You can listen to the bird singers and you may actually learn how to speak bird (Warning: side effects may include being mistaken for Dr. Doolitte). Open gourd dancing—gourds aren’t just for Thanksgiving decorations, don’tcha know?—is also on the agenda as is a memorial for Pauline “Dimples” Murillo, a San Manuel elder who passed away earlier this year at age 76. If you feel like you haven’t done enough, check out the artisan booths scattered throughout the park. It’s the best way to give back to the community outside of a casino. Immerse yourself in culture (I’m talking to you, whitey), load up on frybread and watch many a moneymaker being shaken during the dance contests—there’ll be a winner there somewhere. Dimples, you are still remembered.
NOS Events Center, 689 S. E Street, San Bernardino, (909) 864-1097 x3324 (Native American Resource Center); www.thanative.com. Starts 4PM Friday, 11:30AM Saturday and 11AM Sunday. Free.