By Roy Cook
The Memorial day, May 25, 2009, San Diego State University, SDSU, pow wow weather is overcast, warm, sunny, breezy but pleasant in the day and comfortable in the afternoon. All the proper elements are in place for the people to have a fine time at this outdoor event.
Jon Meza Cuero and the Wildcat singers opened the festivities at 10 am on the dot. Jon Meza Cuero is the only Native Kumeyaay speaker in California keeping the traditional Tipai Wildcat song cycle alive. He is the song leader of the Three Aukas and a Championship singer in Baja California. He also teaches youth in the language and songs of the Kumeyaay. He sings regularly at Tipai community social and traditional events.
Richard Decrane, Head Gourd Dancer, led off the Gourd dance sessions. The American Indian Warriors Association, AIWA, is the Honor Color Guard that brought in the flags.
Our good friend Randy Edmonds, SCAIR Senior advisor, is the San Diego State University Pow wow Emcee. He keeps us smiling and informed as the afternoon circle of life sparkles and shines. Tom Gamboa is the Arena Director for this Pow wow.
Along with the San Diego Soaring Eagle dancers and their mentor/instructors, many excellent and new dancers filled the San Diego State University dance arena. The Soaring Eagles dance group is sponsored by: Southern California American Indian Resource, SCAIR. Organized by Vickie Gambala, SDUSD Indian Education, the Lead instructor is Edward ‘Chuck’ Cadotte.
This colorful and dynamic dance group is receiving many invitations to perform at events, conferences and participate as a group and individuals at Pow wows in the local San Diego area. It fills our heart to see so many happy youthful faces enjoying our tribal ways. Indian traditions will live the Creator says so!
This afternoon, at the San Diego State University Pow wow a military veterans roll call was held followed by the moment of remembrance. American Indian Warriors will forever defend this land. The Commander in Chief Obama has asked all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance to remember our fallen heroes, beginning at 3 p.m. local time. Historically, “On May 5, 1868, General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, asked that America remember those lost in the Civil.”
We must recognize the fine quality of the San Diego State University Pow wow Host Drums and the superb singers. They help make the pow wow experience the successful and traditional tribal celebration for all the people. Red Warriors singers: Tim Redbird and his crew sang Kiowa and Southern Plains songs. Red Hand drum and a Dine drum from Arizona sang songs of the Northern plains.
As we hear the last closing songs and leave the San Diego State University Pow wow we reflect on the new friends we met this day. We will look for you on the Pow wow trail, Thank you, Aho, Mehan.