Today's gathering is
customarily called a "Pow-Wow". This title is fairly new to
Indigenous people, only coming into use in the 1800's,
popularized by the "Wild West" shows. However, there is
sacredness to this tradition. Originally these gatherings were
known to people as "Hey-Lush-Ka" Society Dance, of
Ponca Nation. This was a dance to honor the warriors who
protected the people. When the Poncas were relocated to the
Oklahoma Territory in 1870, they took the ceremony with them and
introduced it to the other Nations in the area.
There is a circle in most
dances representing the circle of unity, the circle of life.
Dancers follow the clockwise motion of the sun. Some regalia or
ornaments signify special events or honors in a persons life,
spiritual tradition or perhaps a legend.
The gap between the
Northern and Southern Indigenous people was established in 1848
by two foreign governments. Overnight there were Mexican Indians
and American Indians. Many nations divided, many families were
In reality, the people of
the U.S. Southwest and Mexico's North are one in the same,
sharing common and complete socioeconomic cultural and
ecological area and identity. Therefore, our powwow acts as a
way to exemplify this truth.
We at East LA College are
proud to bring this tradition to you, adding another element for
unifying and educating all people. Likewise, the
wow is a wonderful experience and a great way to bring people
together in an atmosphere of goodwill and cooperation. We are
given an opportunity to share with the
public the rich and beautiful native heritage of the North and
South. It is another way to honor our future and embrace the
original purpose. which was, and is, the protection of our
people and our MOTHER EARTH. We honor our mothers of all our
relations today and everyday.
This gathering is also a
fun way to rise funds for MEXA scholarships and provide
financial aid for the Iron Circle Nation.
WE WELCOME ALL OUR