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Celebrating autumn with BP Tribe’s Fall Fandango

October 14, 2013

Pageant contestants Noelani In the Woods, Amy Stone, Little Miss Big Pine Paiute Tribe 2012-2013 Annisia Fimbres and Miss Big Pine Paiute Tribe 2012-2013 Aurora Toledo pose at last year’s Big Pine Fall Fandango pageant. Photo courtesy AkaMya

The Big Pine Paiute Tribe is hosting its 2013 Fall Fandango this month with traditional and contemporary events in celebration of the time of harvest.
“Remembering the wisdom of our past” is the 2013 theme of the Oct. 18-19 weekend Big Pine Fall Fandango, or Tovowahamatu Nawenikina Pabanawani. Big Pine Paiute Tribe Community Projects Coordinator Sage Romero explained that Tovowahamatu is the original Paiute name for the Big Pine area and nawenikina pabanawani means “the people come together for harvest celebration.”
All activities will be at the tribe’s recently completed Arbor at 1050 S. Richards St., across from the Allen Spoonhunter Memorial Gymnasium in Big Pine. In a month-long process, Romero said that many community volunteers worked together to transform telephone poles into the Arbor, which will serve as a gathering place for traditional games, dances and talks. He added that a youth group from Orange Lutheran High School in Southern California also came up this past September to clear the grounds and set up the first poles.
Fandango weekend will be replete with both traditional and contemporary games, tourneys, shows and contests. New contests this year will include displays, arrowheads, archery and indigenous games, Romero said.

FRIDAY, OCT. 18
Romero listed Friday’s events line-up, starting with the art show registration from noon-5:30 p.m. The actual art show is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., giving local artists “a chance to display and sell their work to the local community” throughout the weekend.
At 5:30 p.m., the doors will open to the public.
At 6 p.m., events will include the Big Pine Tribe Miss and Little Miss pageants and judging for the decorated cake and cookie contest.
Special guest, Jeri Brunoe of Warm Springs, Ore., a “renowned wellness and motivational speaker” will present a talk that focuses on “healing the people,” Romero said. “We have a lot to let go of to heal and to move on to be better people.” Brunoe will also promote her new book, “Grandma Says,” he added.

SATURDAY, OCT. 19
Romero gave Saturday’s activity agenda, starting with a 6:30 a.m. registration for a 7 a.m. 2K/5K fun run.
From 8 a.m.- noon, competitors may bring their floral, vegetable and food displays to the arbor, Romero said.
There will be a 9 a.m. pancake breakfast and vendors may start setting up then as well.  Vendor wares will include arts and crafts and jewelry; promotional and informational materials on local organizations, groups and programs; and food such as Indian tacos, Mexican food and Rudy’s Madd Dogs.
At 9:30 a.m., parade entrants are expected to line-up and the 23rd Annual Fall Fandango Parade will start rolling along at 10 a.m. Interested residents can still sign up to participate in the parade by contacting Rhonda Brooks at (760) 938-3090.
A tribal elder will perform the Blessing of the Grounds at 11:30 a.m. and at noon there will be an invocation and opening words, Romero said.
From noon on, the line-up, will feature traditional indigenous Alaskan and North American games presentations by former Miss Indian World Marjorie Tahbone of Nome, Alaska.
Big Pine Paiute tribal member Daniel Pierce will conduct afternoon arrowhead making workshops.
From 1-4 p.m., the Huubuu program will offer games for elementary school-age children.
Live entertainment will include Joe Lent and other local musicians; AkaMya, a dance performance group led by Romero; and Paiute cultural song and dance presentations. Traditional handgame and Chup-too-hee tourneys will also commence.
At 3 p.m., archery and traditional singing, dancing and dress competitions will begin.
The basketball shoot and bed race contests will begin at 4 p.m. Bed races are a college tradition, Romero explained, in which vintage metal beds on wheels are decorated and raced by three-or more-person teams.
At 5 p.m., the deep-pit barbecue dinner bell will ring and contest awards will be presented.
A five-person-team volleyball tourney will begin at 6 p.m. inside the Spoonhunter gym.
“We encourage everyone to attend,” Romero said. “We are grateful to celebrate our new Arbor.”
For more information, like “bring your own chairs,” Romero invites residents and visitors to contact him at (760) 937-1910 or sage.romero@bigpinepaiute.org.

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