Borum honored at annual Powwow

Published 12:36 am Sunday, March 30, 2008

NATCHEZ — Amid the sometimes raucous, sometimes peaceful noise of American Indian chants and percussion instruments, a local man was honored for his efforts connected with the annual Natchez Powwow.

During the festivities at the 20th annual powwow, Mayor Phillip West presented Powwow Chairman Chuck Borum with a key to the city in recognition for his involvement with the powwow throughout the years.

“The City of Natchez is proud to have a person such as yourself who has such dedication to an event like this,” West said.

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Borum said he has seen the event grow from a relatively small group of people to what it is today with the help of his friends and the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, and that he alone does not deserve the recognition.

“It has been a joy to be involved with this,” he said. “I’m getting a lot of recognition now for things a lot of people have done.”

The events Saturday included tribal dancing with American Indian music, and the participants moved back and forth in their brightly colored costumes to chants and the beat of a large drum.

Philadelphia resident Anthony Thompson, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and former teacher, was present at the powwow to distribute free educational material, as well as to sell traditional baskets, beadwork and stickball sticks.

“This is my second time to come to this event,” Thompson said. “I enjoy coming down here.”

Natchez resident Diane Holland said this year’s powwow was her second time to come, and she attended with her husband and grandson, who are both American Indians.

“I love it, and I’m not even Indian,” Holland said. “It’s such a quiet, peaceful culture.”

For Ray and Gale Creep, tourists visiting the area from Pennsylvania, the powwow was not something they had planned to come to when they arrived in the area.

“We just went by the tourist information center, and they told us about it,” Gale Creep said. “We’ve enjoyed it. It’s something different, something we haven’t seen yet.”

The powwow will continue today.