Most Viewed Stories
When pageant officials asked Brittany Miguel to step into the role of Miss Quechan, the 19-year-old was more than happy to oblige.
“I was excited, very overjoyed.”
Officials called on Miguel after the previous Miss Quechan stepped down due to personal reasons.
Although unexpected, Miguel is eager to represent her community at pow wows and local events. “I'll be an ambassador, representing the entire tribe and my family.”
She already has experience wearing a crown. She held the high school title of Miss San Pasqual Native Princess during her senior year.
She's also ready to take on the responsibility. “It's a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to being able to get to know a lot of people and showing younger ones the traditions.”
Miguel believes it's important to keep tribal traditions alive. “I've noticed that they're dying out. I would like it if young kids got into it and kept it alive for their children.”
One tradition that she enjoys keeping alive is Pipa traditional dancing. In the Pipa, she holds her hands in front of her and hops in half a circle. She explained what the dance represents.
“Back in the day, women would gather corn flour in baskets and when the warriors were coming or leaving, they would throw it on them as a blessing.”
Miguel was practically born dancing. She got her first taste of it from her great-grandmother and great-uncle, who taught her the Pipa.
“I've been dancing since I was little.”
So it wasn't too surprising when they asked her to represent the Quechan Nation at a local pow wow the weekend after her crowning. “It was fun and a great honor to be there.”
And the honor couldn't have come at a better time. After graduating from San Pasqual High School in 2011, she's taking a year off before starting school again in August. She was crowned Feb. 27, surrounded by family and friends in a “mini ceremony” at the tribal chambers.
As for her future plans, she's still exploring her options, but she'd like to become a writer.
“I like to write mostly fiction. I like making up stories and putting together different ideas, using my imagination.”
Not surprisingly, her hobbies are writing and reading, as well as spending time with family. The only child of Patricia Miguel, she lives in Winterhaven.
What did her mom think of having her daughter crowned Miss Quechan?
“She was very excited and happy for me. She told me it would be a lot of work. I didn't believe it until got into it.”
Mara Knaub can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6856. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSMaraKnaub or on Twitter at @YSMaraKnaub.