Stanford University Home

Stanford News Archive

Stanford Report, May 8, 2002

Annual powwow to commemorate removal of 'Indian' mascot; Event begins Friday

More than 500 dancers from the United States and Canada and 30,000 spectators are expected on campus May 10-12 for the 31st annual Stanford Powwow, the largest student-run powwow in the country and one of the largest powwows on the West Coast. The powwow, held at the Eucalyptus Grove at Galvez Street and Campus Drive, will include three days of traditional dances and songs and more than 130 booths offering art, crafts, food and information.

The 2002 powwow theme is "We Dance With Peace in Our Hearts, Fire in Our Eyes and Rage in Our Feet!" This year the powwow will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the removal of the "Indian" as the Stanford mascot and will honor President Emeritus Richard W. Lyman. Lyman made the official decision in 1972 to discontinue the use of the mascot. The powwow was founded in 1971 to offset the negative image of the mascot and to bring a diverse Native American presence to campus.

The powwow will begin at 7 p.m. Friday with a Grand Entry of dancers into the powwow circle and contest and exhibition dancing from 8 until 11 p.m. Gourd dancing will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, a Grand Entry will be held at 1 p.m., with dancing from 2 to 5:30 p.m. On Saturday evening, a Grand Entry will begin at 7 p.m., with dancing from 8 to 11 p.m. On Sunday, a Grand Entry will be held at 1 p.m. and dances will be held from 2 to 6 p.m.

Powwow masters of ceremonies are Tom Phillips, from Manteca, Calif., and Sammy White, of Anadarko, Okla., both of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma. The Northern drum group is the Native Thunder Singers from Pine Ridge, N.D., and the Southern drum group is Sizzortail, from Shawnee, Okla.

The powwow is open to the public, and overnight camping is available by reservation. Limited bleacher seating is available; visitors may want to bring lawn chairs.

The powwow is organized and hosted by Native American undergraduate and graduate students. For more information, visit or call the Native American Cultural Center at 723-4078.