Annual Natchez Powwow kicks off today

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 28, 2009

NATCHEZ — The sound of drums will once again fill the air when the 21st Natchez Powwow kicks off today.

The powwow, which benefits the Natchez Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, will open at 10 a.m. at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians.

The main events for Saturday start at 2 p.m. with the gourd dance.

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The Natchez powwow was founded in 1989 and is patterned after powwows in Oklahoma.

“The (Natchez) powwow follows a traditional sequence of events for a powwow, starting with a traditional gourd dancing and followed an hour later by the grand entry and inter-tribal dancing,” Grand Village Director Jim Barnett said.

Sunday’s festivities will begin at noon, with gourd dancing starting at 1 p.m. and the grand entry and inter-tribal dancing to follow.

In the event of rain, the craft and food booths and dancing will be moved to the Trinity Episcopal Day School gymnasium on U.S. 61 south.

If it is not raining when festivities start, though, Friday night’s storms shouldn’t have an effect on the powwow’s location, Barnett said.

“The ground is saturated, so we (might) have to move our trade booths a little closer to the museum building and away from the dance circle and the intertribal dance, but we don’t anticipate any bad effects from the rain,” he said.

Everyone who wishes to attend the powwow is urged to bring lawn chairs and blankets because the seating at the powwow site is reserved for the dancers, Barnett said.

Those who have participated in the Natchez powwow through the years include representatives of the Natchez, Ponca, Comanche, Creek, Cherokee, Shawnee-Quapaw, Delaware, Oto, Osage, Mississippi Choctaw, Coushatta, Cheyene, Potowatami, Navajo and Sac Fox tribes.