2017 Head Staff
Host Northern Drum– Spirit Lake (SoCal)
Host Southern Drum– Red Buffalo (Sacramento, CA)
Master of Ceremonies– Benjamin Hale (Navajo)
Arena Director– Victor Chavez (Navajo)
Born on the Isleta Pueblo Reservation in El Paso, TX, Victor now resides in West Covina CA. Dine` (Navajo) on his Mother’s side, Victor began Arena Directing in the mid 1980’s and has been part of the Pow-Wow community since the 1970’s. He has sung with numerous drum groups including Wildhorse and Bear Wolf Singers. Victor loves to be among his Indian People and to help them as best he can. Victor is honored to be the Arena Director for the 32nd Annual UCLA Pow-Wow and hopes that you all have a good time this upcoming Pow-Wow weekend.
Head Man Dancer– Adam Loya (Gabrielino-Tongva)
Head Woman Dancer– Melinda Hale (Navajo)
Head Judge– Lambert Yazzie (Navajo)
Host Gourd Society/Color Guard– Golden State Gourd Society
The Golden State Gourd Society was started in Maywood, CA by a group of families from Oklahoma, that came together to officially form the Golden State Gourd Society. In 1971, Kiowa elders officially recognized the Golden State Gourd Society as an organization to carry on the traditions of the Kiowa Gourd Clan or “Tia Piah Society” (Kiowa Warrior Society), which was revived to carry on its music and dance.
The gourd dance originated with the Kiowa people and has been handed down from one generation to the next. According to Kiowa legend, The gourd dance comes to us from the Red Wolf (Ku-ee-Goodle-tey) who gave it to a brave Kiowa warrior, the lone survivor of a battle trying to find his way back to his people. Along the way, the warrior hears the most beautiful music and finds a Red Wolf, singing and dancing and holding a fan in one paw and a rattle in the other. The Red Wolf feeds the warrior and tells him to take the songs back to the Kiowa’s and that these songs would protect his people.” When a gourd dance song ends, you will hear the dancers make a sound similar to a wolf, in honor of the Red Wolf.
The Golden State Gourd Society has turned 44 years old since its inception and although many of the original charter members have left us, the legacy they left behind continues on through their children and grandchildren. As members of this Society, we truly cherish and respect the traditions and rich history of the Gourd Dance which has been handed down by our forefathers. We would like to thank the UCLA Pow-Wow Committee for the invitation to serve as this year’s Host Gourd Society for the annual UCLA Pow-wow.
Spoonkeeper – Jose “Jojo” Miguel Pulido León