The Morongo Band of Mission Indians is holding its annual Thunder and Lightning Powwow, a three-day event honoring Native American culture.
This is the 29th annual Powwow, hosted at the Morongo Casino Resort and Spa in Cabazon.
Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation declaring Sept. 27 as Native American Day across the state of California.
“It’s on California Indian Day, so that’s extra special for us,” Maria Lorenzo, cultural heritage assistant for the Powwow.
The event is expected to bring in over 25,000 people, including tribes from all over North America. Many tribes participated in Friday night’s festive grand entry.
“A Powwow is just a gathering of different tribal people from all across the United States and Canada coming together sharing songs and celebrating that we’re still here, and we’re still alive,” Lorenzo said.
“You see friends that you don’t normally see or you haven’t seen in a long time,” said Jared Brown, a dancer from Arizona.
The event features Native American food vendors and traditional crafters, showcasing authentic Native American jewelry, beadwork, pottery, clothing and basketry.
“The artwork we do, the pottery, my grandmother taught my mom,” said Thomas Corpuz, a vendor at the Powwow.
Many of these traditions passed down from generation to generation across thousands of years.
“They believe they came from the earth. They made their way up to the surface. So, if you look at the pottery it has lines that go up and around,” Corpuz said.
Everyone is invited to the Powwow. Participants say the event allows them to preserve their culture, learn from other tribes, and educate future generations.
“Every tribe is different and it’s just about sharing and making sure it gets passed on. So language gets passed on. Culture gets passed on to our kids,” Lorenzo said.
Morongo Casino Resort & Spa
49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon, CA 92230