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49th Annual Puvungna Pow Wow returns to LBSU

The celebration of native song and dance showcases tradition among American Indians.

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49th Annual Puvungna Pow Wow returns to LBSU

Representatives for various tribal backgrounds participate in a drum circle to celebrate their culture.

Representatives for various tribal backgrounds participate in a drum circle to celebrate their culture.

Angela Truong

Representatives for various tribal backgrounds participate in a drum circle to celebrate their culture.

Angela Truong

Angela Truong

Representatives for various tribal backgrounds participate in a drum circle to celebrate their culture.

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Years of American Indian tradition will be on full display at the 49th Annual California State University, Long Beach Pow Wow Saturday and Sunday at Puvungna.

The LBSU Pow Wow is the largest spring celebration in Southern California and usually attracts an estimate of 6,000 people during the two-day event, according to American Indian Studies Director Craig Stone.

The event will feature performances such as gourd dancing, which is a traditional dance of the Kiowa tribe to honor warriors and veterans, as well as inter-tribal dancing. People attending the event are welcome to join in on the dance as long as they register before 2 p.m. on Saturday.

“This is not just a performance,” said Master of Ceremony Arlie Neskahi. “This is what we do to gather together and celebrate.”

Pow Wow will include many vendors selling traditional and contemporary art pieces for guests to purchase. There will also be native foods available to buy such as mutton and beef stew, Navajo tacos, fry bread and Indian burgers, according to AIS officials.

Neskahi said he enjoys this event because it gives the Native American community to correct harmful stereotypes that still circulate today.

“In today’s kind of world I get a lot of hope from the young people in our society,” Neskahi said. “We build upon our respect and support of each other.”

Pow Wow will take place Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 11 a.m. both days. The ceremonies will end 10 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. on Sunday. Admission and parking are free for all attendees. The official event schedule can be found at the Pow Wow webpage.

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