Saturday, December 19, 2015

Duckwater Community Projects August 1983-June 1985: Spring Festival

As part of my work in Duckwater I helped organize a Spring festival, and was part of putting together the first festival, which is still held today, although no longer in the early Spring.
As part of my work I put together a pow-wow type of festival each May.  It included a youth hand game tournament, community dances (Native American and country western) a community barbecue (the tribe would provide the beef which the barbecued in a pit in the ground) a chuck wagon breakfast, booths, games, including hand game and card playing areas.  It was really a fun time.  I especially enjoyed doing some round dance and listening to the drum.
The booths were nice.  One year we bought a couple small doll Shoshone cradle boards at a booth.  Also a beaded small hat.  Sheri purchased beaded moccasins which she wore for many years.
One of the problems of the festival was getting the booths set up, and getting electricity to them.  They were pole framed, with green branches placed over the top to provide shade.  The frames didn't come down, so they were available for the next year.  The electricity was provided by a long extension cord run from a nearby building.  The cord had to by run through a culvert.
 The second year it fell upon me to make a horse shoe throwing pit for a tournament.  Wayne Dick and I drove an old pickup to a place on the reservation where there was sand.  We got a pretty good load and filled in a couple areas to provide a good landing for the horseshoes.  I had to measure things four or five times to get the pits and stakes to where I thought it would work best.
We also had a pool tournament at the recreation center for the younger crowd
Many people helped.  Virginia Sanchez worked at the school, and she was instrumental with putting together the youth hand game tournament.  She and I co lead the organization.  Mary Lou Gomes and Kathy Millet also helped greatly.  These were my coworkers.  Jerry Millett was the tribal chairman.  Irwin Watson who worked for the tribe provided tremendous support with the barbecue pit and other tasks.  They had to watch the meat most of the night.  Mitchell Maes, Wayne Dick and Howard Thompson helped with setting up the shelters.  Of course others in the community helped as well.  The entire community helped with a pot luck and little tasks as needed.  The entire year I would sell candy and pop  from the office to make money for the event.

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