Many Trails Indian Club of Los Angeles Powwow (1973)

Main interviewee explains the purpose of the Many Trails Indian Club of Los Angeles powwow, other interviewees describe the significance of the club and event to them personally, and footage of a ceremonial dance.

(Note: there are several breaks where the footage goes green and silent.) Various head and shoulders shots, including from the side when a man with a mic is visible, of a Native woman with short hair and long beaded earrings addressing the camera; (at 3:32) a close-up of another Native woman with glasses and short hair addressing the camera; followed by a close-up of a Native man with long hair in braids; then an older Native woman with grey hair and long braids; when a young Native man with short hair; then an older Native man wearing a cowboy hat and suit jacket; then a middle-aged a woman with long hair pulled back in a pony tail, long beaded earrings; an older woman who declines to speak; another older Native man with a large cowboy hat and braids and lots of jewelry; followed by a Native man wearing a large feathered headdress; followed by another Native man with glasses and a black wide-brimmed hat; (at 7:53) a dance performance by Native men and boys in ceremonial attire; (at 8:35) an older man with short grey hair, holding a cowboy hat then pan over to other audience members of all ages watching the dance; (at 9:18) back to the audience and then pan over to the drum circle; (at 9:51) then after a quick break, back to the dancers; (at 10:24) a return to a previous interviewee from near the beginning, the man with dark hair in long braids; (at 10:43) back to the audience — a woman with a boy sitting on her lap, a row of elders, a baby, an older couple; (at 11:04) back to the very first interviewee; (at 11:54) a close-up on a male drum circle drummer/singer and then the drum as the group play; (at 12:22) back to an interviewee from earlier — the man with glasses and wide-rimmed black hat; (at 12:54) back to dancers’ feet as they perform, then back to the drum circle and then the dancers — women and girls have joined the performance; (at 14:27) close-up of one drummer/singer then down to the drum being beat; then a man with long hair in braids and a distinctive white streak in his hair (the Rosebud Sioux man who is later identified as giving the invocation) speaks into a microphone until he passes it off; (at 15:44) back to the first woman interviewee, and back to the dancers, including a close-up of a woman dancing with a baby, dancers’ feet, a small boy dancer, and others, the first interviewee — who smiles at the camera — dancing alongside other women; back to the larger group dancing; (at 18:02) close-up on the drum and then the interviewee with the glasses and big black hat drumming/singing; (at 18:50) young dancers, then a break and back to the drum circle, and a close-up of a tiny boy dancer — camera freezes on him as a still image for a few seconds; (at 19:46) back to the dancers; back to an interview with the man in a cowboy hat and suit jacket; (at 20:12) back to the first interviewee shot from the side and man with mic visible; super close-ups of a younger Native woman and her friend; back to a previous interviewee — the man with a large black hat and jewelry and the Rosebud man for just a sec; children taking boxes and small bags of treats out of cardboard boxes and going back to their seats; then a lady helps hand them out to a large group of young people and then older folks surrounding her, camera follows people they spoken to or concentrated their camera upon; close-ups of the Rosebud man and the young woman who came with her friend; (at 24:20) back to the man with the very large black hat, braids and jewelry; (at 24:45) back to the man with a black cowboy hat and glasses; back to the dancers; back to various shots of the drum circle and dancers (including a close-up of a large emblem for the Many Trails Indian Club on the back of one woman’s shawl and the first interviewee dancing).  


"It comes from a reel of outtakes from a Los Angeles TV station that was preparing a report on off-reservation Indians in Los Angeles. It was filmed at the powwow of the Many Trails Indian Club of Los Angeles in 1973.  For the same report the TV crew filmed a 'Golden State Gourd Dance Society' and 'How to Make Frybread' segments found elsewhere in the (Tribesourcing and) American Indian Film Gallery website(s).  This latter group has a website; Many Trails seems to have dissolved some time ago."  --J. Fred MacDonald

See also: Joan Weibel Orlando, Indian Country, L.A.: Maintaining Ethnic Community in Complex Society (Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999), 210 and following.