SCV catches a glimpse of Native American culture

Adolfo Arteaga of the Aztec tribe stands in full regalia during the 24th annual Hart of the West PowWow and Native American Craft Fair At William S. Hart Park on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
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The unmistakable drums could be heard all around Old Town Newhall. People in full regalia with bright plumes of feathers danced and bobbed to the music.

Thousands came to watch ceremonial dances and catch a glimpse into the culture of a Native American at William S. Hart Park during the the 24th Annual Hart of the West PowWow and Native American Craft Fair.

“(The goal) is culture, education (and) a chance for the native American community in the Santa Clarita Valley…to come together,” said Norman Phillips, who founded the event 24 years ago.

Dancers were enthusiastic to get the opportunity to share their heritage with SCV and all of Southern California.

Chris Hixenbaugh of the Zia Pueblo tribe participates in The Grand Entry during the 24th annual Hart of the West PowWow and Native American Craft Fair at William S. Hart Park in Newhall on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

One such person was 18-year-old Wolf McMasters, who has attended the powwow three times now.

“My favorite part (is) exhibition because that is when everybody goes out…(and) has the chance to show their own style,” said McMasters.

His style is called grass stance. He has ribbons hanging off his arms and much of his regalia to symbolize the green blades.

“That’s why when I dance, I have to sway a little bit and it’s supposed to mimic the grass in the prairie as it blows in the wind,” he said.

Dancers were not the only representatives of Native American culture at the powwow though. Lita Thompson with the Navajo tribe drove 12 hours from Arizona with her family just to come to Santa Clarita and take part in the event.

A group dances to the drum beat during 24th annual Hart of the West PowWow and Native American Craft Fair at William S. Hart Park in Newhall on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Her family made various kinds of jewelry and crafts that represent her heritage and Thompson is proud to be selling them at the event.

“(What’s) very important is sharing the heritage of our people,” she said.

She was one of a myriad vendors who were selling their goods at Hart Park.

The powwow will continue on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Kylie Asaro, 7, runs after Anthony King, 7, during the 24th annual Hart of the West PowWow and Native American Craft Fair at William S. Hart Park in Newhall on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

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