Waila Festival

Waila Festival

Late May
Since 1989, the Arizona Historical Society has sponsored the annual Waila Festival in Tucson, Ariz. Waila (pronounced Why-la) is a native music of the Tohono O'odham Indian tribe of southern Arizona. Waila uses such instruments as the accordion, alto saxophone, guitars, and drums. Similar to the Polish polka or Scottish folk dances, waila is a lively, danceable music. The event celebrates the 100-year-old musical form, promotes local groups playing the music, and brings the traditions and culture of the Tohono O'odham tribe to the attention of a wider public.
The Waila Festival is held on the grounds of the University of Arizona. Four waila bands perform and the spectators spread out blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the music. Dancing is encouraged. Traditional foods like tepary beans, squash, corn soup, and cholla buds are for sale.
CONTACTS:
Arizona Historical Society
Tucson Main Museum
949 E. Second St.
Tucson, AZ 85719
520-628-5774
www.arizonahistoricalsociety.org