Soaring Eagles Shake Out the Feathers

By Roy Cook

Wow! What excitement, emotion and enthusiasm. There are happy, smiling kids and proud parents still gleaming from the success of the weekend. This cool June 29, 2010 Soaring Eagle Dance workshop has a lot to discuss and pass around the great pictures brought in by Gary Ballard. The workshop activities focus is a review of the First Old Town Soaring Eagle Pow wow last June 26-27, 2010 at the Ballard Parent Center in Old Town.


clip_image006Green River singers were early and greeted the workshop students and parents with good live pow wow songs that will reinforce the total pow wow experience. Lifelong memories were added to the tribal memory in the ways of our ancestors. These children will tell their children how things were when they were young and the continuity of culture will restore the hoop of the world, for the people.


Randy Edmonds introduced the Soaring Eagle children to the four directions and the pow wow circle this weekend. These educational activities inform and demonstrate, by example the protocol and respect of the pow wow circle. American Indian traditions are a living experience and made a part of a memorable shared life history with the Soaring Eagle youth community. We always need to remember, it is not about us, and it is for the children!

The evening’s dance instruction continued with the new and younger dancers. Once they learn the basic steps they can join in with greater confidence. We again had two drums this evening for the dancers to enjoy dancing to two songs for each category. All the other regular dance categories were announced and reviewed.

SCAIR Senior advisor Randy Edmonds called upon the assembled to keep the following in their prayers: Angel Fisher, Charlie Narcomey, Alice from the Razo family, Jane Phillip, and the Carrisosa and Gastelum family. He also prayed for all who are in need and offered the blessing for the food. Elders first!

Debbie and the Razo crew had a really well received SCAIR sponsored meal and a bountiful potluck of hot dogs, beans and more beans, nachos, various macaroni casseroles and one creamy string bean concession to the green food groups, a variety of salads, fruit, lettuce salad and the usual condiments made for a hardy meal.


We celebrated birthdays: It is a great birthday time for Dina Brandon, over 21, with songs, outstanding homemade cake and coffee or punch.

Finally, most of us are happy to volunteer our time and talent to help the Indian children gain confidence and learn about fun, positive, healthy, drug and alcohol free involvements. Maybe we will see you and your family at the next event or the Soaring Eagle Dance Workshop on Tuesday Evening, 6:00pm, at the Old Town Ballard Parent center, 2375 Congress Street San Diego, Ca 92110.

For more information: Vickie Gambala

San Diego Unified School District
Title VII Indian Education Program

Everyone is welcome!

The Pumpkin Moon in times past with the Cherokee.

Cherokee Festivals: 1 of 6 series

There were six main festivals or religious observances before the forced removal. These festivals were to be observed at the capital. The ugu (or ouga, or uku) (which is a derivation from the Cherokee word for Chief), seven (7) Principal Counselors and people from all seven Cherokee clans participated.

The first festival was the First New Moon of Spring Festival. This festival was held in March. The seven Principal Counselors determined when the moons would appear and a messenger would announce the upcoming festival to all the Cherokee people.

There were designated hunters to get the game for the feast, the dressing of a deer and the preparation of white deer skins, seven men were put in charge of the festival and seven men for food preparation.

The first evening was when the selected women performed the friendship dance. The second day, all went to the water for ritual purification.

The third day, the people fasted.

The fourth day, all did friendship dances and ended the ceremony.

Afterwards the Seven Counselors scheduled the sacred night dance. They would have a religious dance, a new sacred fire was built and all old fires in the Cherokee homes were put out. They also had a scratching ceremony and medicine taking prepared by the Medicine Men. At the end, white deer skins were presented to the Festival Priests.

Cherokee Festivals: 2 of 6 series

The Green Corn Ceremony was traditionally celebrated during late June or early July for about four days. The dates scheduled for the celebration depended upon the time the first corn ripened. The ceremony was held in the middle of the ceremonial grounds. Included in the rituals were the stomp dance, feather dance and buffalo dances. At certain points of the ceremonies the people fasted, played stickball, had corn sacrificing, took medicine and had a scratching ceremony. Then after the fasting they would feast. Another ritual observed was rinsing themselves in water and having prayer.

It is believed when you get a cleansing it washed away impurities or bad deeds and started a new life. The cleansing ceremony was performed by a priest which was followed with fasting and praying and other sacred practices.

Cherokee Festivals: 3 of 6 series

The Mature Green Corn Ceremony

The third Cherokee festival was called the Mature Green Corn Ceremony which was held about 45 days after the New Green Corn Ceremony, which was held in June or July.

Before the festival, Honorable women performed a religious dance and decided when the festival would be held.  The hunters were sent out to bring back game and there was a committee appointed for the festival.

An arch was built with green branches, making an arbor in the ceremonial grounds. The evening before the Green Corn Ceremony, all the clans took a branch that they used the next day during a noon ritual.

They drank a special tea called a “Black Drink” which was used for cleansing and purifying.
The people would have a dance for days plus feast on game and corn.

The Ceremony lasted for four (4) days.

San Diego and regional Pow wow activities:

JULY 2 - 4
15th Annual Pechanga Powwow
Pechanga Powwow Grounds
45000 Pechanga Pkwy
Temecula, Ca

JULY 16 - 18
Redbird’s Children of Many Color’s Powwow
Moorpark College Athletic Field
7075 Campus Rd
Moorpark, Ca
Info: 805-217-0364

JULY 31, AUG 1
SCIC 42nd Annual Powwow
Garden Grove High School
11271 Stanford Ave
Garden Grove, Ca
Info: 714-962-6673

2 Responses to “Soaring Eagles Shake Out the Feathers”

  1. anthony gastelum says:

    I would like to thank all of the soaring eagles for supporting our family in our time of need. Anthony and Georgie Gastelum - Kake, Alaska

  2. Jerry Starnes says:

    Hey Roy
    Really great photos and stories keep up the good work.