Above: Advertisement for the 1925 Pow Wow in Fawnskin
The Fawnskin developers, Cline and Miller, put a great deal of effort into providing entertainment for local residents and visitors. Weekly activities included, the Theater of the Stars’ musical programs while others were one-time events, such as the Indian Pow Wow (commemorating the Annual Fawnskin Trading Festival of the San Bernardino and Desert Tribes) held on June 13th of 1925.
Attendees saw painted Indian braves performing war dances while their tom-toms reverberated throughout the forest. The main stars of the Pow Wow included five Chiefs (Standing Bear, Eagle Wing, White Feather, Pettigrue and Black Hawk), two Princesses (Wastewin and Nita) and a papoose named Betty.
The guest of honor, Chief Standing Bear (Ota Kte, 1868 -1939), wore a magnificent costume valued at $3,500.00. His niece, Princess Wastewin, gracefully danced and charmed the audience with her interpretations of ancient tribal dances adding to the cultural experience.
Chief Standing Bear, the president of the American Indian Progressive Association, also delivered a speech on Indian Welfare. He spoke about the plight of the Indians on reservations and requested respect for his race. Afterwards he gave each attendee a special gift to remember his message and the event.
Chief Eagle Wing, another notable who presented in the program, was a graduate of Sherman College (a school for Indians), and performed tribal songs from many different parts of the United States.
Above: Chief Eagle Wing Cover Photo on Fawnskin Folks
Chief White Feather (who performed at the White House in 1938) starred in the Pow Wow play. Written especially for the occasion, it portrayed the drama of the Europeans invading the land of the Indians.
In the first act, the Indians emerge from the woods and form a circle, in preparation for the grand council. Chief Pettigrue then entered singing Indian songs in his native tongue, until one of the tribe members spots a white man, who approaches and then is adopted by the tribe. In the final act, the Indians relinquish their land and depart dancing back into the woods.
Native artist such as Princess Nita demonstrated the art of ceramic painting and displayed and sold some of her best pottery. The princess was accompanied by her friend, Chief Black Hawk. The Chief owned an Indian novelty shop in Los Angeles and took the opportunity to sell Indian herbs and medicines.
The Fawnskin Pow Wow kicked off the summer season and was one of the more memorable days in Fawnskin.
Authors note: Today the term Native American describe those individuals of native tribes. The term Indian was used in the story due only to the historical sources.
About the Contributor: Eileen Downey bought a home in Fawnskin as a retreat from the fast pace of the big city. Living here she has found inspiration, a renewed spirit, an endless amount of creativity and curiosity. Off the mountain, Eileen is an elementary teacher for children with autism but for the last three years, her passionate hobby has been to collect, read, and sort through the history of Fawnskin and its founding settlers. She hopes you will enjoy her series and be inspired by the first Fawnskin residents who called themselves “Fawnskin Folks.”
If you have any additional information you would like to share, or have questions about the history of Fawnskin, please comment below.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, June 27th, 2008 and is filed under Fawnskin Folk, Fawnskin History, Mountain Lake Resort.
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