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Tribes Come Together for Powwow By the Sea

Drums and dancers from across Southern California attended the powwow.

THE BRIDGE Powwow Committee and members of the Kumeyaay tribe invited Native people from across the region to Portwood Pier Plaza Saturday and Sunday for the annual Powwow by the Sea. 

This year's theme was "honoring nature" to thank plants, animals, rocks for the life, teachings and guidance they give.

"We believe there's spirits in them and that's why we're honoring them," said Executive Director of THE BRIDGE Jeffrey Jackson.

Last year's theme was "."

Evidence has been found of the Kumeyaay tribe's prescence in the area that dates .

About 10 drums and 150 dancers joined the event from tribes across the region, THE BRIDGE staff said.

Before the powwow began, the circle surrounded by participants, vendors and spectators was blessed and considered sacred land.

Some wore their tribe's traditional clothing to dance in the circle, while others wore street clothes.

"This is where special spiritual things happen. It's where we give thanks and honor our elders who have passed," said Jackson who helped start the event nine years ago. "It's where we sing songs and hear the spirits. A lot of times you can feel it. I can feel it."

Participants were led by people given honorary titles for the event, like Head Woman Tabitha Whipple from the North Fort Mono tribe, and Head Boy Jake Eaglefeather Jacome, a nine-year-old from the Kumeyaay Nation.

His father Abel Jacome said he was especially proud of his son on Father's Day. 
"It's a great honor for our family to be asked," he said. "He's a drummer, dancer, bird singer and gourd dancer."

It's not unusual for the Jacomes to spend their weekends at powwows across Southern California.

Last week the family was at a San Luis Rey powwow. Next week they will be in the Los Angeles area and later this month at a Pechanga powwow, Abel said.

Raffles, giveaways and dance competitions were also part of the event.

is an internet cafe on Seacoast Drive that helps young people find jobs and job training.

Viejas Tribal Government, Barona Band of Mission Indians, Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Nation and Pala Band of Mission Indians helped sponsor the event.

Several local businesses also sponsored the event including Surf Hut, Bibbey's Shell Shop, Mickie's Bar and Grill, Ollie Angel Skate Shop, Aroma Thai and Sophisticated Auto Care.

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