Music, dance, arts, crafts, and food with dancers, musicians, and artisans from NC, SC, and VA. There will also be a children’s author there with McIntosh Summer, the story of Chief William McIntosh, who should be quite at home there.
In 1992 American Indian students at the NCSSM held the first powwow to promote the school to American Indian communities in NC, as a place young people could get an education in math and science, and also in traditional teachings of their culture. They formed the ADWe:kon, the Indian Club, which in Mohawk means “all of us together.” The club was intended as a support group for Indians on campus and to educate all people about the rich culture and traditions of American Indians. The club has hosted the powwow annually since 1992.
The last time I was on the campus of this school, it was the campus of Watts Women’s Hospital where our youngest son was born. The hospital became the school later. I’m delighted to have been invited to the school to share McIntosh Summer. From the first afternoon of research for this book to this very week, I am still learning about McIntosh and the American Indian culture.
The first powwows I attended were with McIntosh, and I was completely awed by the color, pageantry, music, and the American patriotism. Each event I’ve attended has had the same format, and I see this one is also the same. And I’m ready for more goose bumps!
There’s an MC to announce the proceedings and explain the background and history of what is happening. First is the Grand Entry of all the dancers in their regalia. Next is the Flag Song. This is a ceremony to honor the American Flag and the Eagle Staff, which is the Tradition Flag of Indian people. The Veterans’ Song is next to honor all who have served in any branch of the military. These ceremonies are so impressive. At the Ocmulgee Monument powwow in Macon, GA, the color guard came from Okmulgee, OK, to do these ceremonies. One of the guard’s name tag read: McIntosh. He is the great great grandson of Chief William. I was so overwhelmed I could hardly talk to him!
Following the ceremonies, the intertribal and exhibition dances in all styles and categories carry on for the afternoon with specialty dances like hoop dances, smoke dances, and even audience participation. There are no contests. The 150 dancers and 6 drums, with an audience of about 2000, emphasize intertribal brotherhood and sisterhood, and education about the Indian culture. The powwow closes with Honor Dances and a Closing Song.
You know you want to come. I hope I’ll see you there.