Nansemonds prepare powwow

Published 9:33 pm Saturday, August 13, 2011

Powwow: The Nansemond Indian Tribe will hold its annual powwow Saturday and Sunday at Lone Star Lakes Lodge, located on Pembroke Lane, off of Godwin Boulevard.

The drumbeats and dancing of the annual Nansemond Indian Powwow are on the Chuckatuck horizon.

The traditional event will be held next weekend, beginning at 10 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m. each day Saturday and Sunday. There is no admission charge, but donations are accepted to help cover the cost of the powwow.

Historically, powwows were like family or tribal reunions for American Indian tribes, Nansemond Chief Barry Bass said. These days, they serve to allow the tribes to celebrate their culture, pass down traditions to the younger generations and share their customs with visitors.

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“I consider it a celebration of our heritage, our culture,” Bass said. “I think it’s good for the kids.”

Bass said the children within the tribe are able to see the traditional dancing and other cultures through the powwows.

“I just really think it’s something that aspires them to dance,” he said.

As for young ones — and even adults — outside the tribe, the event can help break down stereotypes, he said.

“It’s just something unlike the stereotypes that they see,” Bass said. “Something they can relate to.”

Besides a variety of traditional dances, the powwow also introduces visitors to other aspects of American Indian culture, particularly clothing, crafts and food. The dancers and other tribe members in attendance wear authentic apparel during the dances.

A variety of vendors — most of them members of tribes throughout the country — will offer authentic Native American crafts for sale. And food vendors will have traditional foods, as well as current favorites.

The celebration will be held at Lone Star Lakes Lodge, located on Pembroke Lane off Godwin Boulevard. Grand entry of the dancers is at noon on Saturday and at 1 p.m. on Sunday.