D-Q University to Host Big Time

Feb 15th, 1997 | By | Category: 8-4: Racism, Tribal College News
By Rick Heredia

For many years, it looked as if the tribes of California would lose their unique ceremonial dance, the Big Time. In recent years, however, the celebration has been revived. On May 30-June 1, D-Q University will host a Big Time, the third to be held at the college’s ceremonial grounds near Davis, California, in recent years.

More religious than the social pow wows of the Plains Indians, the Big Time includes diverse dance styles, distinct from the Plains style. Singers keep time to the music using a foot drum and clapsticks. Dancers wearing flicker feather headdresses and feather skirts dance barefoot over the ground, softly blowing eagle bone whistles. When the dancers move around the fire at night, they cast graceful, evocative shadows.

The Big Time draws Native dancers, singers, and visitors from around the state, especially the northern and central areas. D-Q University also honors tribal elders at the annual event. Visitors can camp, hear storytellers, and enjoy handgames.

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