28th Annual Nez Perce Tamkaliks Celebration & Friendship Potluck, July 20-22
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.