Many ceremonies and rituals rightly remain for tribal members only. However, there are celebrations organised by Native American communities that welcome anyone to attend.
The most frequent event to experience are called Pow Wows. Full of traditional singing, dancing, drumming, and elaborate costumes made from feathers, bells, beads and shells, Pow Wows are exhilarating celebrations of tribal culture from all over the country. Dozens are hosted in California throughout the year, with September being a particularly busy month. We suggest going to the website powwows.com to find an event to suit you.
Long Beach’s Moompetam Festival typically hosted over a weekend in September (9-10 September 2023) is considered a ‘gathering of the salt water people’. The two-day event celebrates indigenous California’s maritime cultures – including the Tongva, Chumash, Acjachemen, Costanoan, Luiseno, and Kumeyaay communities – with craft making, storytelling, music and dance.
Alternatively, the annual Klamath Salmon Festival is celebrated by the Yurok tribe every August (19 August 2023). Highlights include the morning Salmon Festival Parade, followed by a traditionally cooked salmon feast, but there's also chances to watch local tribes take part in competitive Stick Game tournaments, Indian card game tournaments, plus other demonstrations and activities.