Natchez Powwow set for Saturday

Published 12:01 am Friday, March 26, 2010

NATCHEZ — An old south tradition will be revived this weekend that has nothing to do with antebellum houses.

For the 22nd time, the Natchez Powwow will pound out a drumbeat to which Native American dancers and enthusiasts will move, linking our modern society to the Natchez Indians who lived in this area over 300 years ago.

“We are going to have over 100 dancers coming in to dance to the rhythm and sing the songs,” Powwow organizer Charles Borum said. “This is what Native American people do every weekend — both children and adults always enjoy it and many come every year.”

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The gates of the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians at 400 Jefferson Davis Blvd., will open at 10 a.m. Saturday. The Gourd Dance begins at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., with the Grand Entry and Intertribal Dancing to follow at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Borum said the gates usually close around 10 p.m.

On Sunday, the gates also open at 10 a.m. and the Gourd Dance starts at 1 p.m. The Grand Entry and Intertribal Dancing starts at 2 p.m.

“A lot of people who have never been to the powwow do not understand it, but once they come for their children, they understand,” Borum said. “This is not just a kiddy event, adults love it too.”

Borum said there are opportunities for spectators to interact with the dancers.

“Usually, they do some blanket dances where they ask spectators to come out and dance and hopefully donate,” Borum said. “It is a good chance for the spectators to get out there and dance to the music.”

The powwow isn’t just about dances, though, as many Native Americans are coming from out of town to display and sell their crafts and foods. Borum said to expect festival style food, but that someone always makes Indian fry bread, which is also known as Indian tacos.

Borum said the Native American crafters will be offering everything from T-shirts to pots and also many items that will interest children.

Entrance to the powwow costs $5 for adults and $3 for children under 12 years of age. Thirty-five percent of the proceeds will go to the Natchez Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Borum said the rest covers the dancers and singers.

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