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Tribes and traditions

 

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The colorful dancers and drummers of the 36th annual Stanford Powwow wrapped up Sunday with dance competitions.

The annual three-day event draws thousands of participants and attendees from throughout Northern California and beyond.

The Stanford Powwow is sponsored by the Stanford American Indian Association, formed in 1970 by four native American Stanford students to push for recruitment and retention of American Indian and Alaska Native students, staff and faculty; the institutionalizing of culturally relevant curriculum; the establishment of a community center and theme house; and the permanent removal of the Stanford "Indian" mascot.

In 1972, then President Richard Lyman of Stanford removed the Indian caricature as Stanford's mascot and replaced it with the Cardinal color following a ferocious debate among students, faculty and alumni -- one that has resurfaced a number of times since.

The Stanford Powwow became an alternative celebration of true Indian culture and traditions.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

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