By May Hunter

The Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah celebrated its 44th Annual Restoration Gathering Pow-Wow on June 7-9, 2024, at the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah Pow-Wow Arbor located in Cedar City, Utah.

Each year, the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah celebrates its restored federal recognition on April 3, 1980. The Restoration Pow-Wow is also a celebration of their past, their future, their culture, their heritage, their lands, and their presence as the indigenous peoples of this land.

The Annual Restoration Pow-Wow is a family-friendly celebration that is open to everyone. It is an excellent opportunity for the Tribe to celebrate and share its culture and heritage with the community and visitors to their community.

The cultural significance of a Pow-Wow is to bring intertribal communities together, to dance with one another, not only for the celebration of life but as well as for healing.” States Autumn Gillard, the Paiute Tribe’s cultural resource manager.

“In addition to healing for their community members, their dancers dance for individuals that aren’t able to dance for themselves, as well as for future children that are going to be born,” Gillard noted. “So it helps bring healing and rejuvenation and positivity within tribal communities.” Gillard explained the significance of the colorful attire worn by the dancers, which she said is properly referred to as “regalia” and should never be called a “costume.” The eagle feathers worn by the dancers are of special significance, Gillard said, noting that such feathers are typically earned at important milestones in the individuals life, usually being gifted to them from a friend or a family member during a ceremony. It’s very sacred to display and be able to wear feathers on their regalia,” she noted.

We believe that the feathers are very sacred and they help carry their prayers to heaven,” she said. “And the sound of them when they’re dancing, they’re speaking to each other, the feathers are.”

For thousands of years, Cedar City has been a gathering place starting with the ancestral people of the Paiute, Hopi, and Navajo Tribes. Our people are what makes Cedar City so vibrant and exceptional. The people of Southern Utah have carved out of the desert a place they call home through vision, hard work and perseverance. Cedar City occupies the ancestral home of the Southern Paiute People. This land has a deep connection and we all call Southern Utah home.

There were between 500-750 who attended the Pow-Wow each day this year. The Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah would like to thank all that attended their 44th Annual Restoration Gathering Pow-Wow, and hope to see you next year.


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