June – 21, 2019 Prescott Arizona, as the month of June is coming to an end. The Annual Pai(People) Gathering, event. Hosted by each Pai tribe on their respected reservation lands. Was hosted in Prescott, by the Prescott Yavapai Tribe- Yavapai-Apache, Havasupai, Hualapai, Yavapai Fort McDowell and Yavapai Prescott.
The Pai’s- are a people from Arizona, California and Mexico. Yes, MEXICO-!! the pai pai people who reside in Baja, Mexico. Since 1999, every August the Pai Pai’s host an annual event in Mexico. They speak the yuman language. It can be considered a first language like the Havasupai and elder Hualapai people. Once upon a time -Yavapai, Mojave, Hualapai, Pai Pai, Havasupai, Cocopah, Quechan, kum’yay and Tribes as far as the west coast California and Pima. Where one people – Yuman.
As, the people gathered on Friday to enjoy traditional dances and song from the PEOPLE. The evening settled and the folks traveling far and near enjoyed a meal cooked by the designated Pai tribes- women and men. With breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Elder Pai Woman- Pai Woman Naming ceremony is also held during each gathering, honoring our Elder Pai Women and Pai Women of each Pai Tribe.
The family- and I had the previlage of performing”Bird Songs” for the People. My brother Luka Montana, nephews- Phillip Powskey and Sterling Selana. With dancers Mom- Flora Selana, nieces Shaileen and Eileen Gonzales. My daughter Lavonne(Piggy) Gonzales. Our first time as a family. As, our family from the Walapai Tribe joined us- elders and young men. It was heart warming, a very special day. As, we sang song, as we see life from creation, to the struggle, for our ancestors who have gone. Then for the people here. As, it is a different time. Lastly, for the land and for the spirits.
As, Saturday afternoon came to an end we had a tradegy happen. Of which was a sad time and brought everyone together to pray for our elder. We seen and heard traditional Havasupai Ram dancers- The Guardians- who travel world wide as a group. Yavapai dancers and Pai pai singers. Also, the hadagwiva dance group. Havasupai Elder – Rex Talousi with Elder Havasupai dancers and Mr. Garfield Nish.
Big thank you- to the Yavapai Tribe- Prescott and Camp Verde for everything. Also, to the Pai woman who put their efforts into these events year after year. Lastly, to the Yuman coalition. I will be looking forward to be apart of anything upcoming years to come-!!! Hangyu-!!!
Courtesy- RezconnectEnt & Promotions, Rezervation Bosses, Mohawk Canyon Singers, The Guardians, Pics- Donated by Ava Lynn, Yuman Coalition and Soul Central Magazine Arts and Culture.