NORTH FORK – The Sierra Mono Museum invites one and all to share in a celebration of heritage and culture at the 44th Annual Indian Fair Days & Pow Wow, held this year on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 23 – 24, at the North Fork Recreation Center.
On Saturday, Aug. 23, grounds will open for visitors from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., and on Sunday, Aug. 24, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The cost to attend is $2 per person in advance or $5 at the gate. Kids 12 and under may enter at no charge.
Previously scheduled for just one day the first weekend of August, this sensational happening was rescheduled due to the French Fire, and is now set to return as a two-day spectacular. The Pow Wow Committee has worked hard throughout the year, planning to make Indian Days an outstanding weekend for all.
Pow wow attendees enjoy traditional music, dancing, food and native craft vendors. A raffle is held during the pow wow, with the grand prize of a handcrafted Mono basket, second prize of an Apple iPad, and third prize of a mini-Mono basket with a soaproot brush.
North Fork is home to many members of the Mono tribe, who have lived in the Sierra Nevada area for centuries. Organizers at the Sierra Mono Museum say the origins of pow wow have risen from economic, social, and cultural experiences of many Native American tribes. These cultural celebrations provide opportunities for people to come together in song and dance, make friends, renew old alliances, and enjoy arts and crafts.
For many, pow wows have spiritual and religious significance. Nowadays, pow wows are intertribal, with older ways brought forth into the present day and age, helping to solidify Indian communities and promote traditional customs. In addition to the North Fork Mono, members of other tribes from California and throughout the nation also participate.
The weekend-long North Fork occasion instills and elevates pride in Native and non-native families, giving all generations the chance to display their traditional heritage. Contestants showcase skills and intricate regalia during the two-day dance competition, headed up by Master of Ceremonies Frankie Williams and Arena Director J R Manuel.
Indian Fair Days & Pow Wow is a principal fundraiser for the Sierra Mono Indian Museum in North Fork, one of the few tribally owned and operated museums in the country.
The museum houses one of the largest California Indian basket collections, as well as displays of native art and cultural artifacts, and exhibits featuring the diversity of wildlife in the area.