Indian Fair Days and Pow Wow at the Sierra Mono Museum in North Forkhttp://www.sierramonomuseum.org/powwow is the longest running festival of traditional arts in the western Sierra Nevada. Starting in 1970, this two-day event takes place the first weekend in August every year. The residents of North Fork invite everyone to celebrate together to renew spirit among the California Indian people.
The Sierra Mono Museum is the only Native American Cultural Museum in the area, and it is the Archaeological Repository for the Sierra National Forest. The museum was established as a non-profit organization in 1966 as a result of tribal community members concerned about preserving the traditional Western Mono Culture. The museum houses one of the largest California Indian Basket collections in the state, as well as Native American tools, wildlife dioramas, and archaeological displays. More than 200 species are featured at the museum including a few free-standing taxidermy animals including Sierra grizzly bears, bob cats, a golden eagle, and mountain lions. The museum gift shop is stocked with authentic Indian bead work and hand made gifts.
Indian Fair Days and Pow Wow is a must for locals and guests world wide who are interested in the native history of the southern Sierra Nevada. The event began as a fundraiser for the museum and has evolved into a local tradition. Over the two-day period, attendees will get a glimpse at traditional California Indian lifestyle. Over fifty Native American vendors from all over California will offer traditional hand crafted Native American arts, food, games, and dance demonstrations. Aztec, Maidu, and Inuit dance demonstrations will be featured and dancers will compete in Grass, Jingle, Fancy Shawl, and traditional styles in the sacred circle. An Indian Princess will be crowned who will represent the area at other Pow Wows she attends for her one year term. Hand Games and volleyball tournaments to win prizes will take place both days.
The event is held at the Minarets High School, 45077 Road 200, O'Neals. Native American dance competition, traditional arts and crafts, and food begins at 9am each day and runs until 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Directions: From Fresno or Madera, take Highway 41 to Road 200, which is well marked. Follow Road 200 for about a half mile. The school will be on your left.