scairpipelongSan Diego Soaring Eagle stories are brought to you by Southern California American Indian Resource, SCAIR.

Soaring Eagles See Dog Days

By Roy Cook

topperThis Tuesday night, August 9, 2011, under the stars, the Soaring Eagle dance workshop points of light are again totally unpredictable. But they brightly shine as the evening stars twinkle.

Our enthusiastic Soaring Eagle families had a winning weekend at Hawaiian Gardens. Jacome family members swept a number of special competitions. They and the Cadottes, AIWA and Ramon all represented San Diego proudly.

Tonight the summer weather was a bit cooler at the start of the evening. In spite of fewer faces in the circle the summer joy was evident in the younger dancers’ eyes. Also, SCAIR tutor, Jeannie Alvarado brought skill level pamphlets on the story of denim jeans and of Bear and Kangaroo for younger readers.

The SCAIR information table has updated powwow flyers, Soaring Eagles schedules, upcoming events for the Soaring Eagles, local traditional gatherings, and the registration forms for everyone who attends the Soaring Eagles and the new regalia forms that need to be completed by everyone who attends the workshops.

clip_image003In earlier times, when the night sky was not obscured by artificial lights and smog, different groups of peoples in different parts of the world drew images in the sky by “connecting the dots” of stars. The images drawn were dependent upon the culture: The regional Tribes of Native Americans see different images and name them in their individual languages than the Europeans. These European star pictures are now called constellations and their names come from our fanciful European ancestors.

They saw images of bears, (Ursa Major and Ursa Minor), twins, (Gemini), a bull, (Taurus), and others, including dogs, (Canis Major and Canis Minor).

To them the brightest of the stars in Canis Major (the big dog) is Sirius. In fact, it is so bright that the ancient Romans thought that the earth received heat from it. Look for it in the southern sky (viewed from northern latitudes) during January.

In the summer, however, Sirius, the “dog star,” rises and sets with the sun. During late July Sirius is in conjunction with the sun, and the ancients believed that its heat added to the heat of the sun, creating a stretch of hot and sultry weather. They named this period of time, “dog days” from 20 days before the conjunction to 20 days after, after the Dog Star, Sirius.

The conjunction of Sirius with the sun varies somewhat with latitude. And the “precession of the equinoxes” (a gradual drifting of the constellations over time) means that the constellations today are not in exactly the same place in the sky as they were in ancient Rome. Today, dog days occur during the period between July 3 and August 11.

This evening has a number of heartfelt emotions and announcements of recently losses of: friends, family members and elders. Some were recalled by association and fewer by name. Our prayers and assistance in support was called upon this evening. It was, as I said, an unpredictable evening.

singersOur dance singers of the Green River and San Diego Intertribal drums voluntary personal satisfaction is to see our Indian Children dancing joyfully on the green grass of Mother Earth. We can see that our Indian ways will continue to flourish and live as long as these songs of our Grandfathers live in their hearts.

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Further, at the Soaring Eagles, we continually look forward to experienced, contest winners and past head dancers to mentor the children in the movements and steps of the American Indian traditional dance. These weekly immersions into traditional tribal culture and participation in public American Indian gatherings allow us to endure and remain a vital cultural, political, social, and moral presence in the San Diego region. We are fortunate to have volunteers to share their dance and song experience and truly blessed to have these children eager to have a good time doing Indian things.

Our hosted hot dogs and fried chicken evening feast and the pot luck dishes made for a good, fulfilling and thankful meal. Debbie Razo served up the SCAIR sponsored Soaring Eagle feast for the hungry and happy attendees.

Simply by looking around at the families, our views of the parents and children are constantly inspiring. What we see most clearly are the bright smiles and eager faces of the children attending this Soaring Eagle night in the park dance workshops.

Everyone is welcome to attend the ‘Balboa park’ Soaring Eagle (6-8:30pm) summer dance workshops from now to Sept. 14, 2011. We invite you to bring your children and family to learn by observation and participation, a traditional way, the pow wow dance, music and also enjoy the friendship of the gatherings.

Also, remember to bring a potluck item or side dish for the Soaring Eagles evening feast. Again, everyone is welcome to attend the ‘in the park’ dance workshops.

Soaring Eagle performance contact:

Abel Jacome – 619-454-4951


For general information call: Vickie Gambala — 619-306-7318
San Diego Region Pow wow and Cultural Events:

Aug 13
Barona Traditional Gathering
Games and Peon Tournament

Aug 26, 27 & 28
Pala Pow wow and Peon Tournament
4th Annual Honoring Traditions Powwow
Pala, Ca
Click here for Flier

Aug 27
Viejas Traditional Gathering
Viejas Birdsingers Gathering and Peon Games
Alpine, CA
Click here for Flier

Sep 2 - 4
Barona Pow Wow
August 31-September 2,
Ball Field behind Rec. Center,
Barona Indian Reservation, Lakeside, Calif. (619) 443-6612
Click here for Flier