Tribal celebration this weekend

By The Curry Coastal Pilot September 17, 2013 08:49 pm

The Confederated Tribes of the Lower Rogue will hold its 21st Annual Gathering of the People PowWow at Big Bend near Agness this weekend.

The free event is open to the public to share the history, rich culture and traditional ceremonies of the Chetco and Tututni peoples. Featured will be drumming, dancing, dug-out canoe races, a salmon feast, demonstrations and raffles along the Rogue River.

The event begins Saturday, with the grand entries at 1 and 7 p.m. and concludes Sunday afternoon.

Among the tribes’ foci is the protection of cultural resources, which has included restoring grave sites between Langlois and Gold Beach, protecting ancestral burial sites and artifacts scattered throughout the aboriginal territory of the Chetco and Tututni Indians and gathering historic photos and documents.

A project long in the works has been to record and study the Tututni language, which was once spoken by almost 10,000 people. As of the turn of this century, only four people remained who spoke the language, and two of them were elders in ill health.