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Native Americans socialize, dance at annual powwow at Newhall park

Posted: September 23, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 23, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Monica Bartelt, left, has her hair braided by Lupe Villa as Bartelt prepares for the fancy shawl dance at the William S. Hart, Hart of The West Pow Wow on Saturday in Newhall. (Dan Watson/The Signal)

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Rhythmic drumbeats and colorful native regalia delighted visitors at Hart Park on Saturday for the 19th annual Hart of the West Pow Wow and Native American Craft Fair that continues today.

“Whenever there’s a powwow, we all get together. We all socialize and dance and have a good time,” said Sandra Rivera, 30, of Los Angeles, who also is a fancy shawl dancer and head woman for the ceremony.

The head man and head woman bring out the dancers at the start of each intertribal dance, Rivera said.

Dancing is a big part of the entertainment every year, but there are also dozens of booths with Native American arts and crafts.

While the Native American community is spread throughout all parts of Southern California, the powwows are opportunities for everyone to reconnect and catch up, Rivera said.

“When you’re in the powwow, it’s like a big family,” she said. “Everyone knows everyone else.”
Retired forest ranger Glenn Skaggs said he came to see his friend Angeles Pena, who was performing a Navajo dance.

However, part of the entertainment was a dance competition whereby the dancers must figure out what type of traditional Native American music is being played, and then make sure their moves match the beat.

“The dancing is probably the best part,” said Carol Sharkey, of Pasadena. “And I come for the food, too,” she added.

The weekendlong powwow also takes place today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free.

The park is located at 24151 Newhall Ave. in Newhall.



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