2012-01-23 "Yakama dancers will perform in Chile" by Phil Ferolito from "Yakima Herald-Republic" newspaper
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakama powwow dancers will head to northern Chile this week for a cultural exchange at the area's large carnaval.
"We are the first Native American tribe to be invited and featured at this large event," said Stephanie G. Wendt, Yakama Nation tourism coordinator.
Dancers from the Colville, Paiute and Navajo tribes as well as from Canada -- 21 in all -- will travel with the Yakamas to Arica, Chile, for the carnaval, which runs Friday through Sunday.
Chilean delegates in Seattle invited Yakama dancers last July after visiting several local powwows, including one commemorating the tribe's 1855 treaty and another at Legends Casino, said Wendt.
Dance troupes, food and other aspects of South American culture will be featured at the carnaval, which focuses on an indigenous harvest festival. Photos and video of the carnaval will be posted on the Yakama Nation's website at www.yakamanation-nsn.gov when dancers return Monday, Wendt said.
More tribes will be invited to the event as part of a future project, she said.
The Andean carnaval, called "Con la fuerza del sol" ("the power of the sun"), is in its 10th year and draws around 5,000 participants, including more than 50 dance groups from Chile, Peru and Bolivia. Most of the dances come from rural communities in the plateau region of northern Chile and Bolivia.