FORT MOHAVE — The Fort Mojave Indian Tribe concludes its 26th annual Avi Kwa Ame Pow-Wow today, wrapping up three days of dance and Native American culture showcased at the Mohave Crossing Event Center.
The Avi Kwa Ame Pow Wow brings Native Americans from tribes across the U.S. to celebrate tribal culture through dance, music competitions and cultural displays.
Saturday morning brought hundreds of participants and visitors alike to the Mohave Crossing Event Center to see the majestry of the pow wow dancers, drummers, and the three ceremonies of the day, the gourd dancing and the two grand entries.
A dozen or more tribes showed up for the annual event, with more this year than last according to Mohave Crossing personnel. They came from as far away as Oklahoma, and Texas, with several from the Tri-state to compete as well as enjoy the annual Native American outing that brings together so many different Native peoples all in one spot to share their heritage, dance, music and culture.
This year’s festival had the customary bird and gourd dancing, tribal competitions, drumming competitions and a new dance category called chicken dancing.
Saturday was the main event day, starting with a drum competition among the various drum circles, followed by gourd dancing. The main start of the weekeknd is always the grand entry in which all the participants follow an elder into the arena in a circle, dancing along the way until all are in a circle. This year’s leader in the invocation was Lawrence Avaripa, who is Northern Paiute. He gave the blessing to begin the pow wow officially in a spectacular entrance filled with colorful dancers of all ages and tribes.
The bird dancing contest followed that with each contestant showing their skills at the dance while a panel judged the contestants for the winners.
The 26th annual Pow-Wow continues through today until around 2 p.m. with another round of gourd dancing and one final grand entry of all the participants in full native dress. Admission is $10, and there are multiple Native American vendors on hand selling jewelry, clothing, and various foods for sale during the event.