Two cultures, two continents, four centuries

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 25, 2005

Indian nations plan annual spring powwow

Staff Report

The six Virginia Indian nations will gather on the Chickahominy Tribal Grounds in Charles City April 30 and May 1 for their third annual joint spring powwow.

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On this historic occasion, members of the Nansemond, Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Monacan, Rappahannock and Upper Mattaponi tribes will give honor to their past, as they recognize the historic impact of Jamestown 1607.

Indians from all over the eastern United States are expected to join the Virginia tribes for this year’s gathering, along with special guests representing the &uot;two cultures, two continents, four centuries&uot; theme.

Grounds open at 10 a.m. on both days, with the Saturday’s grand entry at noon and Sunday’s grand entry at 1 p.m.

The festival and powwow will feature Indian dancers, drummers, singers and cultural demonstrations.

Marvin J. &uot;Many Horses&uot; Burnette will return as master of ceremonies.

Burnette, a career veteran and enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe South Dakota, is nationally known for his traditional dancing and service as emcee for many traditional powwows. Burnette, who was raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, brings honor to his culture and historic commentary to the attending public, as he leads traditional powwows.

Natalie and Maurice Proctor will serve as lead dancers.

Members of the Piscataway Tribe, the Proctors are well known throughout the Eastern United States for their appearances at powwows and other heritage events.

The Red Wolf Singers from North Carolina will serve as the host drummer and Jay Hill, Ojibwa/Seneca will be the arena director.

The Color Guard will be formed from members of the Six Virginia Nations.

Backwoods survival demonstrations offered by Bill and Susie Gingras from North Carolina will show the attending public various traditional tools and clothing.

Commentary will include ways in which the original people utilized natural resources, including plants and animals, for their survival.

Native American crafters from all over the United States will have jewelry, pottery, beadwork, leather crafts, and other authentic arts and crafts for sale.

Food will be available and will feature Indian Fry Bread, hamburgers and hot dogs, and more, as well as plenty of beverages and a bake sale.

The festival is open to the public.

Gate admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6 and under and senior citizens.

Proceeds will support VITAL, the Virginia Indian Tribal Alliance for Life.

VITAL is an organization of members of the Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Monacan, Nansemond, Rappahannock, and Upper Mattaponi Indian Nations.

The Nansemond Indians-who were Suffolk’s earliest residents in the 1600s-are still working on plans to develop a replica tribal village on the Nansemond River. City Manager R. Steven Herbert said Thursday he hopes the village will be ready in time for the Jamestown 2007 celebration.

For more information and directions to the Chickahominy Tribal Grounds, visit VITAL’s website at or call (804) 829-2027.

Other information is available from organizers at (804) 966-2448 or (804) 513-4801.