|A suprised Diondria Pilger as she hears her name announced as the new Red Mountain Eagle Pow-Wow Princess 2017-2018.|
Pilger Named Red Mountain Eagle Pow-Wow Princess
On a recent October evening, eight young girls shined at the 31st Annual Red Mountain Eagle Pow-Wow Princess Pageant at the Salt River High School.
But 9-year-old Diondria Pilger shined a little brighter and was named the new Red Mountain Eagle Pow-Wow Princess 2017-2018.
Pilger received her crown and officially became the powwow princess and Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community ambassador on November 4 at the powwow, less than two weeks after the October 23 pageant.
“I want to thank my family and friends for their support, and also I want to thank the judges for giving me this opportunity,” Pilger said in her pageant acceptance speech. “I will do my best to represent the Community and the Red Mountain Eagle Pow-Wow. Sapo.”
Pilger takes the reins from Kennise McGertt. Sienna Primeaux, 9, was named First Attendant.
Contestants, age 9 to 11, were judged for the one-year princess term on grand entry, personal introduction, traditional dress, poise and posture, and their answer to, “Why I would like to be the next Red Mountain Pow-Wow Princess.”
Pilger answered, “I think being the titleholder would be a great chance to meet new people from different tribes and promote RMEP. It will also be an opportunity to learn my O’odham Himdag.”
Other pageant contestants were Stevie-Vaughn Galindo, Hadley Smith, Akayla Alvanez, Zoe Hernandez, Tirsa Reina and Harmony Miles.
Janet Johnson, member of the Powwow and Pageant Committee, said the girls did great and thanked the committee for working hard to find princess participants after low numbers in past years.
Pilger said her cousin encouraged her to compete, and learning about her mom’s pageant days also inspired her. Now, she gets to represent the powwow and her Community on a larger stage.