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NEWS RELEASE

05/02/94

CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (415) 723-2558

Stanford annual powwow to honor Indian women May 6-8

STANFORD--The Stanford American Indian Organization (SAIO) will host the 23rd annual Stanford powwow May 6-8, Mother's Day weekend, on the intramural field adjacent to Stanford Stadium. Its theme will be "Honoring Indian Women."

Attendance of more than 35,000 spectators and participants is expected for the three days of the event, which is open to the public without charge for admission, parking or camping space.

Twenty-three years ago, American Indian students at the university organized and sponsored the first Stanford powwow with the aim of making the presence of native cultures more visible on the campus. Since its inception in 1971, it has become the largest annual multicultural event at Stanford and one of the largest powwows on the West Coast, attracting Native Americans from all over the United States and Canada.

Historically, powwows have been part of many traditional

Indian cultures. They celebrate through dance and song both individual and tribal achievements and endeavors. At powwows, the songs that drummers sing commemorate specific events. The 1994 Stanford powwow will feature both a Northern Drum from Minnesota and a Southern Drum from Oklahoma.

It also will feature dance contests and a variety of dancing styles. The women's competitions will include jingle-dress dance, fancy shawl dance, and northern and southern traditional buckskin dance. The men's competitions will include grassdance, northern traditional and southern straight dance, and northern and southern fancy dance. Intricate and very fast footwork characterizes both men's and women's fancy dance. There will be contest dancing for children as well as adults.

Among the women to be honored on Saturday is Cecilia Preciado Burciaga for her work with both the Chicano/Latino and the American Indian/Alaska Native communities at Stanford.

The other honorees on Saturday will be Betty Cooper, Lakota, for her work with the Family Healing Center in Oakland; Rosemary Cambra, Ohlone, who gave the university's American Indian theme house its California Indian name of Muwekma-Tah-Ruk; Florence Jones, Wintu, one of her tribe's last traditional doctors; and Gwen Stirir, Seneca, a Bay Area Indian educator.

Traditional arts and native food

A wide selection of high-quality artwork created by American Indian artists and craftsmen in the tradition of their various cultures will be for sale at the powwow grounds. Featured at the 90 vendor booths will be silver and turquoise jewelry, weavings, pottery, sand paintings, kachina carvings, quill work, beadwork, drums and other native products.

About a dozen of the booths will offer authentic American Indian food for sale, including perennially popular fry bread. There also will be about 10 information booths. One booth will be staffed by SAIO volunteers who will be selling powwow programs and souvenirs.

The organizing and coordinating of the Stanford powwow is an entirely volunteer effort by American Indian and Alaska Native undergraduate and graduate students. Currently, they number about 190 from about 50 tribes. Planning regularly begins early in fall quarter. Students raise all the funds to meet the now approximately $70,000 budget, most of it from booth rental fees and food, program and souvenir sales.

For more information, contact powwow coordinators Wilson Pipestem and Colin Cloud Hampson at the American Indian Program Office in Old Union, 725-6944.

Schedule of powwow events

Friday, May 6:

  • 5 p.m. - Registration for contestants.
  • 7 p.m. - Grand Entry.
  • 8 p.m. - Preliminary competitions.
  • Midnight - Dance Out.

Saturday, May 7:

  • 8 a.m. -- 5K Race and 1 Mile Youth Run.
  • 11 a.m. - Gourd dancing.
  • 1 p.m. - Grand Entry and honoring ceremony for elder Indian women activists.
  • 2 p.m. - Exhibition dancing.
  • 7 p.m. - Grand Entry and children's final dance competitions.
  • Midnight - Dance Out.

Sunday, May 8:

  • 11 a.m. - Gourd dancing.
  • 1 p.m. - Grand Entry and honoring ceremony for mothers of American Indian students currently enrolled at Stanford.
  • 2 p.m. - Final adult dance competitions.
  • 6 p.m. - Closing song.

-dmh-

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