WORLD ARTS WEST IS PROUD TO PRESENT
CHIEF TONY CERDA
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE FIELD OF
ETHNIC DANCE AND MUSIC
Tony Cerda is Chief of the Rumsen Ohlone Tribe and artistic and spiritual director of the tribe’s Humaya (Hummingbird) Singers and Dancers. Traditional dance, song, and prayer shape his daily life and his community presence. He is well-known for preserving and reviving Ohlone dance forms and for furthering the continued presence of Ohlone cultural traditions.
Tony Cerda works tirelessly to keep the Rumsen Ohlone Tribe’s dance/song/story alive, teaching dance to tribal youth, hosting Big Time gatherings, and traveling with presentations to other communities. Members of the Rumsen Ohlone Tribe are working to reclaim their language, as well, which is challenging as the last fluent speaker of an Ohlone language, Rumsen speaker Isabel Meadows, died in 1939. Chief Cerda notes, “Our community is one of the few that is still a cohesive group, electing leaders and making group decisions, living together. We believe in dancing as a healing form of prayer, and we practice it as a community.” In honor of Tony Cerda’s achievements, the City of Pomona renamed a town park in his name.