27th Annual Nez Perce Tamkaliks Celebration & Friendship Potluck

27th Annual Nez Perce Tamkaliks Celebration & Friendship Potluck

Volunteers sought to prepare grounds

WALLOWA, Ore –The Tamkaliks powwow in Wallowa, Ore. celebrates the history and culture of Northwest Native people through song, dance, ceremony and food July 21 through 23.

This year, before the drumming and dancing begins, the Homeland Project’s Office at 209 East 2nd Street in Wallowa will be open on Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. for cattail basket weaving and beading instructed by Cece Whitewolf and Ron Cameron. Supplies will be provided. Contact the office to register.

The first dance roll call is Friday evening under the dance arbor at 7 p.m. followed by social dancing with MC’s Thomas Morningowl and Fred Hill.

Saturday morning the horse parade around the Tamkaliks Powwow grounds begins at 9 a.m. followed by a ceremony led by Cece honoring the Women Warriors of the 1877 Nez Perce War. Memorials & Namings also happen Saturday morning.

Saturday’s roll calls are at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday evening features the Veterans Honor Dance and contest dancing, including $1,000 in prize money for the Owl Dance Special.

Sunday the Washat services in the new longhouse begin at 9 a.m. followed by the Friendship Feast at noon and the final dance roll call at 2 p.m. for championship dancing contests.

Tamkaliks is a welcome home-coming for Nez Perce descendants and a summertime tradition for local residents for the past 27 years. We invite people of all backgrounds to camp for free on the Wallowa Homeland Project grounds on the banks of the Wallowa River, not far from an old Wallowa Band village site. Vendors selling food and crafts along with the campers create a mini city during the Tamkaliks Celebration.

Without dedicated volunteers, Tamkaliks would not be the success it is. A group of locals hosted the first powwow in 1991, many of whom still help prepare and run the event today. The celebration provides the space for the Nez Perce to practice their traditions on their homeland and non-natives a chance to learn from them. For all, the weekend is an opportunity to reflect on the history of the Wallowa Valley.

Originally held on the Wallowa School campus, today Tamkaliks is celebrated at the grounds on Whiskey Creek Road and still runs on the efforts of faithful volunteers.


If you would like to help:

Saturday, July 15 beginning at 9 a.m. the public is invited to a work party to prepare the grounds for the powwow. Lunch will be provided. Volunteers should bring gloves, tools and appropriate clothes and footwear to enjoy the work party.

Thursday July 20 at 6 p.m., those who are not afraid of heights can help put up the giant parachute over the dance arbor to keep revelers out of the sun during three days of dancing and feasts. All volunteers are invited to share dinner at the grounds after installation of the parachute.

Volunteers are also needed Monday, July 24 at 9 a.m. to clean up after the close of the celebration.

Tamkaliks needs financial supporters, too. Dance sponsors can give $25 for a kid’s dance prize or as much as $300 to sponsor the adult championship dances. To sponsor drumming, gifts of $60 cover one session and $500 will pay for one entire group for the weekend. Sponsors will be listed in a souvenir program available during the celebration.

Another way to support the Tamkaliks Celebration is to donate a raffle item or purchase raffle tickets for $1 apiece, available at the Homeland Project Office in Wallowa and during the celebration. Featured prizes include Olaf Pottery from Ted Juvé of Joseph, a Pendleton blanket, a buffalo robe, a Chief Joseph Days Rodeo package and a Wildhorse Resort golf and casino package.

For those interested in donating a raffle item or being a vendor, or to arrange for a memorial or naming ceremony, contact the Wallowa Valley Homeland Project office at 541-886-3101 or by email at info@wallowanezperce.org.

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