Before Southern California was colonized by imperious human beings whose primary achievements are conceiving new ways to re-tell trite stories that waste celluloid, navigate vehicles that destroy the environment, or simply shopping maul the landscape for profit, indigenous people with a flourishing culture inhabited the area (along with the rest of the continents called the Americas). The 14th annual Northern Southern Winds Pow-Wow celebrates that same pre-conquistador, pre-auto, pre-mogul culture for three days, and Native Americans and guests gather in friendship to honor traditions that extend back many centuries. One of the central rituals of these traditions are contests in which dancers bedecked in fantastically colored plumage and costume compete to the sound of "drum singers" (who literally sing and drum for the contestants). Apparently Deadheads did not invent drum circles and there will be reserved moments for the spectators to participate and shake, rattle and roll. There's even a "switch dance" for men in women's regalia and vice-versa, speaking to a certain open-mindedness absent from the colonial world. Over 40 vendors will sell arts and crafts and food, including Indian fry bread, tamales, tacos, and roasted corn. The third day of the festival falls on Mother's Day and given that one of the pow-wow's themes is "Honoring Our Mothers," any Mom who shows up will be showered with "flowers, treats, and special dances!"
Fri., May 8, 6-9 p.m.; Sat., May 9, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., May 10, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 2009
Get the Things to Do Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly guide to events in Los Angeles, and never be bored again. With suggestions for every day of the week, our recommendations will keep you busy on any budget.