Since the festival’s inception in the mid-1980s, there have been several groups that routinely perform every year. This week, we take a closer look at two cultures who have had attended Living Traditions and participated in all areas of the festival including the craft market, performing art stages, food booths and panel discussions. There are many Native American and Hispanic groups scheduled throughout the festival this year.

If you’ve never been to a Native American pow-wow, perhaps the Living Traditions Festival would be one of the best introductions for a newcomer or first-time attendee. Since there are so many different tribes and pow-wow rituals, every event is a little different.

Last year’s Living Traditions Festival included a special inter-tribal pow-wow, which at times, allows participants to take part in the dance on the festival grounds. It’s wonderful to see the camaraderie amongst performers and attendees. The experience can be educational, spiritual, and memorable all at once.3_Pow_Wow_2

In addition to the Native American dances, many of the cultural representatives, including Robb “Little Owl” Martin, have a gift of telling and retelling stories passed down from generation to generation. As an expert flutist, Martin is a descendent of Southern Ute and Jicarilla Apache heritage. Martin encourages dialogue with the crowds during his mix of music and storytelling. It’s an honor to have representatives like “Little Owl” who are part of the Living Traditions family.

While Native American’s play an integral role at the Living Traditions Festival, perhaps we travel south for a closer look at the many different Hispanic groups from Mexico, Central and South America.  Did you know there are more than five Ballet Folklorico groups that play traditional Mexican music and dance over the weekend?


Since Mexico is one of the largest and most culturally diverse areas in Latin America, it’s no surprise there are all kinds of performing groups from mariachi bands and ballet numbers to just about everything in-between.

Another popular group at the festival includes Brazilian Roots, a band that fuses so many different music styles and then adds its own flavor to the mix. With musical influences of Samba and Basa-Nova, the group also incorporates other forms such as Axe, Forro and Pagode.

This is just a sneak peek of a few groups from North and South America that grace the festival with their cultural presence every year. There’s so much more to learn and see in-person over the three-day weekend. If you would like to see a full list of performing or craft artists, what stages they will play on, as well as times, please visit for the latest updates.

Robb Litle Owl
2017 KRCL Interview with Native American flute maker/player Robb Little Owl (starts at 18:00 in to the segment). Go to