Powwow celebrates Indian culture
The 26th annual Natchez Powwow is scheduled Saturday and Sunday 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 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. 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 when 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. 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.
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 2013 over 3,000 people attended this unique event to celebrate the American Indian heritage of the Natchez area. Among the attendees each year are numerous Boy Scout and Girl Scout groups taking advantage of the spacious Scout Camping Area near the site’s nature trail.
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 and Fox.
This year’s powwow staff and presenters include Lloyd Hunter (Sac and Fox, master of ceremonies, Cushing, Oklahoma), Darsh DeSilva (arena director, Round Rock, Texas), Kevin Dawes (Ottawa, Southern drum head singer, Baxter Springs, Kans.), Drew Dreadfulwater (Kiowa, head man dancer, Skiatok, Okla.), Tara Bryant (head lady dancer, Goodes, Virginia), Freddie Cozad (Kiowa, head gourd dancer, Mountain View, Okla.) and Invited Guest Gourd Dance Groups: Gulf Coast Tiapiah (Texas), Wounded Warrior (Louisiana) and White Star (Indiana).
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 Hu tke 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 26th 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 Division of Historic Properties of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.