Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

August 16, 2018
Heritage

Native Americans from across the country gather for pow wow in Ibapah 

Logan’s Kyra John delivered speeches, danced, sang and socialized at pow wows throughout the intermountain area as queen of the Confederated Tribes of Goshutes during 2017-2018.

She concluded her duties as queen at a pow wow Aug. 3-5 on the Goshute Reservation in Ibapah.

“Pow wows help us keep our traditions alive.There are a lot of pow wows throughout the year in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada and throughout the nation. Several tribes are represented at pow wows. Actually, I’m Navajo and Cherokee,” John said.

Pow wows include drum circles and men and women in colorful costumes dancing and singing to the rhythm provided by those drum circles. There are vendors outside the entertainment area selling a variety of food items. Free snow cones are a tradition at the annual pow wow in Ibapah.

The colorful clothing, music and festivities were on full display at the most recent Goshute pow wow this month in Ibapah.

The Goshute reservation includes approximately 112,870 acres in Tooele and Juab counties and in White Pine County, Nevada. Its headquarters, Ibapah, is in the far southwestern corner of Tooele County — about a three-hour drive from Tooele City.

On the morning of Aug. 4, temporary shelters surrounded an open circular grass area for the dancers to display their skills. 

The event started with a flag ceremony that featured the Native American Flag of our First Nation carried by Gabe Hardin, United States Flag carried by Jeff Jones, State of Utah Flag carried by Lee Moon and Goshute Flag carried by Goshute Reservation Chairman Rupert Steele.

Announcer Jerry Bear described the events to those at the pow wow from a stand set up in front of the dance area. 

Five separate drum circles took turns providing the music. They competed for a top prize at the pow wow. Judges selected a new queen, princess and junior princess.

Tooele’s Demi Rae Maestas, who will be a student at Clarke N. Johnsen Junior High School this year, competed in the princess competition for the first time.

“I was totally unprepared and didn’t have my pretty dress and had never danced before. But I thought about my aunt who always told me to just get out there and don’t doubt yourself. So I decided at the last minute to do it,” Maestas said.

She finished in second place in the princess competition.

“I’ve always loved coming out here and watching the dancers. It’s part of our culture — we’re all like family,” Maestas said.

Francie Aufdemorte

Photo Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Francie Aufdemorte is photo editor for the Tooele Transcript-Bulletin. A Tooele County native, she graduated from Tooele High School in 1989, and with a degree in English from the University of Utah in 2001. She next studied filmmaking at the New York Film Academy in 2005, from which she earned a certificate of completion. Her ties to community journalism begin in 2005 when she worked for the Magna Times for two years, handling everything from classified advertising to editing and proofing news stories. While there she also created and maintained a new website for the newspaper. In 2007, she opened a Salt Lake-based studio called Book Cliff Photography. As principle photographer, she worked both editorial and commercial assignments, including portraiture and weddings. As photo editor, Aufdemorte photographs news, features, sports and advertising for the Transcript-Bulletin and supplemental publications, while also managing and assigning the newspaper’s freelance photographers.

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