The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians will host the 18th annual Chumash Inter-Tribal Pow-Wow — the largest cultural event of the year held by the tribe — on Oct. 5 and 6.

The pow-wow, which attracts dancers and drummers from tribes across the country and thousands of spectators, is a celebration of Native American song and dance at Live Oak Campground near Lake Cachuma. The 2013 theme is “Kiyiswana’n — Our Native Way.”

Highlights will include dance and drum competitions, a healing circle and a variety of Native American food and crafts vendor booths. The pow-wow is scheduled from 10 a.m. to

10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Dancing categories include traditional, straight, fancy and grass dancing. More than $45,000 in prize money will be offered. A gourd dance, followed by a grand entry, will begin the pow-wow at noon on both days.

“Each year, our pow-wow gives us the chance to share our Chumash heritage with tribal people from around the country and with the general public,” said Chumash Tribal Chairman Vincent Armenta in a written statement. “We’re proud that, for the past 18 years, we’ve been able to host this cultural and educational event.”

Every year, the Chumash pow-wow is organized by a committee of tribal volunteers with a goal to provide the community with educational and cultural experiences focused on Native American music, arts and customs while promoting native self-reliance and pride, the tribe said.

Pow-wows didn’t originate in California, however, the Chumash and other tribes in the state have gathered to sing, dance, socialize and heal for many generations. In the 1960s, the Chumash first opened one of its pow-wow gatherings to the public as part of a fundraising campaign to bring running water to the Santa Ynez Reservation.

In keeping with the Chumash commitment to being environmental stewards, the pow-wow will be a zero-waste event, the tribe said.

Live Oak Campground, 4650 Highway 154, is a Santa Barbara County park just west of Lake Cachuma, with an entrance road next to Rancho San Marcos golf course.

There is no charge for admission. Parking is $5 and the camping fee is $25.

For more information, call 688-7997.


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