“Telling the Stories of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community”

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“Telling the Stories of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community”

VIEWS: 601 March 17, 2024

Birds Singing and Dancing By The River Wins Second Place in Tohono O’odham Wapkial Ha-Tas Parade

By Juan Ysaguirre

This year, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s Birds Singing and Dancing by the River traditional group achieved a feat it had yet to accomplish. During the 84th annual O’odham Wapkial Ha-Tas Parade in Sells, the dance group took home second-place honors. 

“This was the first time the dance group has placed second,” said KiAna Reina, a member of the group. “Throughout the parade, we shared Piipaash bird songs and dances. They also had a performance at the Culture Sharing Circle later in the day.” 

The festival began on February 3 and ended on February 5. The annual rodeo and parade celebration featured arts and crafts booths, basketball tournaments, a fun run/walk, waila contests, a toka tournament, a ha’a race and much more. The parade theme for this year’s Wapkial Ha-Tas was “Celebrating O’odham Resilience, Dancing in the Desert.”

Members of the Birds Sing and Dancing by the River representing SRPMIC were the following: 

Singers: Lynwood Vest, Cameron Ramirez, Aarick Mack, Jason Mack, Richard French, Datrea French, Tayden French, Silas French, Zavier French, Immanuel Burns, Tobias Hernandez and Alex Reina. 

Dancers: Annette Vest, Carmelita Ramirez, Layla Blackwater, Eziabella Alvanez, Daniella Robles, Shannon Burns, Issela Burns, Maticela Burns, Tirsa Reina, KiAna Reina, Banner Carriers, Arron Mack and LaPrenza Nezz.

Baby Birds: Kire Thomas, Jasmine and Nyla Burns, and Obidias and Maleni Tsosie.

Added singers (during the performance): Pacer Reina and Bruin Reina. 

Helper: Rory Thomas. 

“The next time the group will be in a parade will be for the Mul-Chu-Tha Fair in March,” added Reina. For those interested in joining, the group holds practices Wednesday evenings at Friendship Park.