Come celebrate 25 years of history

Published 12:02am Friday, March 22, 2013

The 25th Annual Natchez Powwow is scheduled for March 23-24 at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, located at 400 Jefferson Davis Blvd. No public seating is provided; visitors are urged to bring lawn chairs. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. The admission charge helps to offset Powwow expenses and benefits the Natchez Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. VFW personnel will be operating the Powwow gate. A variety of food and craft booths will surround the dance circle.

Craft and food booths will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Gourd Dancing begins at 1 p.m., followed by the Grand Entry and Intertribal Dancing at 2 p.m. Saturday evening dancing begins at 7 p.m. Sunday’s activities begin at noon with craft and food booths open. Gourd Dancing begins at 1 p.m., followed by the Grand Entry and Intertribal Dancing at 2 p.m. In the case of rain, the dancing and booths will relocate to the Trinity School gymnasium on U. S. Highway 61 South.

The Natchez Powwow is co-sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and Dr. Charles Borum, who heads the Natchez Powwow Committee. Dr. Borum founded the Natchez Powwow in 1989 after participating for many years in powwows in Oklahoma. In 1990, the event moved to the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, a National Historic Landmark with a museum accredited by the American Association of Museums.

In 2012, more than 3,500 people attended this unique event to celebrate the American Indian heritage of the Natchez area.

Patterned after powwows in Oklahoma, the Natchez Powwow has become a tradition in the Miss-Lou, linking our modern society with this area’s past cultures and the rich legacy of the Natchez Indians. Over the years, Natchez Powwow participants have represented many American Indian tribes including: Natchez, Ponca, Comanche, Creek, Cherokee, Shawnee-Quapaw, Delaware, Oto, Osage, Mississippi Choctaw, Coushatta, Cheyene, Potowatami, Navajo and Sac Fox.

The Grand Village of the Natchez Indians is an appropriate location for ceremonial and social dancing. From around A.D. 1200 until 1729, the site served as a ceremonial center for the Natchez Indians and their ancestors. For many years, Natchez Indians Hutke and Jobie Fields have represented their tribe at the Powwow. This year, they will once again make the trip from Gore, Okla., to the Grand Village to walk in the footsteps of their ancestors.

We invite the public to help us celebrate the 25th Annual Natchez Powwow. The Grand Village is administered by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Call 601-446-6502 for more information.

 

Jim Barnett is director of the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians and director of the division of historic properties with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.