Facebook Twitter

Thousands Gather to Celebrate 25th Anniversary of Morongo Powwow

Thousands Gather to Celebrate 25th Anniversary of Morongo Powwow

Annual Native American cultural event marks quarter-century milestone with more than 650 dancers and 25 drum groups from across the U.S. and Canada.

Morongo Indian Reservation – An estimated 25,000 spectators gathered to celebrate the rich cultural traditions of Native American dance, music and art as the annual Morongo Thunder & Lightning Powwow marked its landmark 25th anniversary last weekend.  

One of the nation’s most highly anticipated powwows, the popular three-day gathering attracted more than 650 Native American dancers and 25 drum groups from across North America. Competitive dancers displayed the diversity of Native American dance styles while adorned in elaborately crafted regalia of supple leather, intricate beadwork and brightly-colored feathers.

“Twenty-five years is quite a milestone to celebrate, and it’s a chance to recognize all the years of hard work that allowed our powwow to grow and thrive,” said Tribal Chairman Robert Martin of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. “For some, the powwow is a time to gather with friends and reconnect with Native culture. For others, it's a chance to learn about the beauty of Native American dance and music.”

The highlight of each day, the Grand Entry brought hundreds of dancers dressed in traditional regalia streaming into the powwow arena against a backdrop of music from competitive drum groups and singers. Other events included gourd dancing, traditional bird singing and peon games.  

Outside the arena, shoppers perused the authentic Native arts and crafts for sale from dozens of artists and vendors, including jewelry, beadwork, pottery, clothing, and baskets. Native food vendors offered homemade Indian tacos, tamales and popular Indian frybread for sale.

The 25th Annual Morongo Thunder &Lightning Powwow was held at the Morongo Event Center alongside the Morongo Casino, Resort and Spa.


Michael Fisher