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Photo Gallery 1: People's Gathering

Even though it was held on April 1, the Piipaash Matasheevm, or the People’s Gathering, was no joke this year. A record crowd gathered at the Lehi festival grounds in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, under the newly built mathkyaaly (ramada) covered with ‘iisav or arrow weed, for a day of chiyer (bird) singing and dancing. The all-day celebration began at about 10 a.m. with the blessing of gourds, posting of the colors, and a welcome and blessing. Community member Bob Aguilar explained the history of the Piipaash Matasheevm for visitors shortly before an arbor ribbon-cutting. At about 11 a.m., a potluck-style lunch was served, and at noon the singing and dancing began.