Morongo’s 32nd Annual Thunder & Lightning Powwow Celebrates Native American Culture

Over 30,000 gathered to celebrate California Native American Day and honor Native American traditions at the most popular Powwow in the nation.

Morongo Indian Reservation (September 25, 2023) – More than 30,000 spectators celebrated the rich cultural traditions of Native American dance, music and artistry at the 32nd Annual Morongo Thunder & Lightning Powwow which took place on September 22 – 24 at the Morongo Indian Reservation.

Named as the nation’s most popular powwow for the past two years in a row by, the highly anticipated Morongo powwow kicked off on California Native American Day and attracted over 900 tribal dancers and 20 drum groups from across the U.S. and Canada.

Throughout the weekend, dancers wearing intricate, handcrafted regalia of leather, fine beadwork and brightly-colored feathers competed in a variety of events that displayed the wide range of Native American dance styles.

“The Morongo Thunder and Lightning Powwow celebrates the diversity of Native American culture while helping to preserve our heritage and share our traditions with the next generation,” said Morongo Tribal Chairman Charles Martin. “Every year, we look forward to welcoming thousands of visitors from across the region to experience Native American dance, music, food, craftmanship, and art.”

As the highlight of each day, the spectacular Grand Entry drew hundreds of dancers wearing traditional regalia into the powwow arena where they danced as competitive drum groups and singers performed.

At the Morongo Indian Market, artists offered authentic Native American crafts for sale, such as handmade baskets, beadwork, clothing, jewelry, and pottery. Native food vendors offered customary homemade delicacies such as Indian tacos and tasty Indian frybread.

The powwow also featured bird singing and peon games, which are the traditional songs and games of Morongo and other tribes in Southern California.