Twirling so fast at times that they were a blur of brilliant color, hundreds of dancers took part in the 40th Annual Stanford Powwow on Mother's Day weekend amid the thunder of drums and wailing singers.
The powwow is one of the largest celebrations of Native American culture in the West, attracting visitors from as far as South Dakota and the Southwest.
The three-day event takes place annually in Stanford University's eucalyptus grove on the second weekend in May.
Colorful dancers from tiny tots to elders competed in elaborately decorated buckskin and cloth covered in beads, porcupine quills and feathers. They performed fancy, grass, jingle, gourd and traditional dances. Highlights included a special chicken dance and hand-drum competition.
The event honors elders, veterans and mothers. A special invocation in the Lakota language was recited during the opening of each days' festivities.
The powwow is also an opportunity for native artists to sell their work. Dozens of booths offered jewelry, beadwork, art, blankets, pottery and Native American food that attracted thousands of visitors.
The event is sponsored by the Native American Cultural Center and Stanford American Indian Organization.