Hundreds gathered on Sunday, September 29, at Pelham Bay Park, New York City for the Bronx Native American Festival. For the past 25 years, the event has celebrated indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere through music, dance, storytelling, poetry and food.
According to a 2017 report by the United States Census Bureau, there are only approximately 6.8 million Native Americans including those of more than one race in the US, a country with a total population of about 330 million. One of the festival’s main missions is preserving the culture of native groups and educating the community on the diversity of indigenous people.
Bobby Gonzalez, a descendant of Tainos, a native people of the Caribbean, founded the festival. He was also the MC of this year’s event. Gonzalez, a lifelong Bronx resident, is also a poet and motivational speaker. He started the festival to pass down ancient native traditions to the next generation and to remind the community about the existence of numerous indigenous groups still living today.
Featured acts included the Silvercloud Singers including drummers from several North American native groups and Cetiliztli Nauhcampa, a dance troupe whose ancestry is tied to natives from areas including Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. The New York City Parks Mounted Unit, which patrols parks around the city on horseback, brought horses for visitors to pet. There were several indigenous entrepreneur vendors selling art, clothes and jewelry.
Reporting and photography for this event were provided by Jimin Kim.
About Jimin Kim
Jimin, a resident of Long Island, NY, is photographer / reporter with a deep interest in foreign affairs, national and local news.
He graduated from Stony Brook University, NY with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism in 2016.
For more information, please visit his website here.