Powwow returns this weekend

Published 9:50 pm Monday, August 13, 2012

A woman demonstrates traditional regalia and dancing during last year's Nansemond Indian Tribe Pow Wow. This year's event will be this weekend.

The drums, regalia and tradition of the Nansemond Indian Tribe Pow Wow are returning to Chuckatuck this weekend.

The annual event, held by the tribe to honor its heritage and display its traditions, will be held Saturday and Sunday at Lone Star Lakes Lodge. The lodge is located at the end of Pembroke Lane, which runs off Godwin Boulevard directly across from Oakland Elementary School.

“It’s to honor our ancestors,” Nansemond Indian Chief Barry Bass said. “I’m looking forward to seeing everybody.”

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Members of the tribe will come from around the country to partake in the celebration. Members of other tribes in Virginia also come to participate.

The event is open to the public and free, though donations are accepted at the door. Bass said even people who are not affiliated with a tribe should come to learn more about what American Indian culture is really like.

“Just to get a better understanding of what our culture is,” he said. “It’s not the hocus-pocus witchcraft type stuff. The storybooks and the stuff you see on TV is just not the way it is.”

The celebration features dancers showing off traditional clothing and regalia and performing dances to the beat of the drums. It also will include demonstrations on the American Indian way of life, traditional crafts and food, and more.

“It’s a proud heritage and something that I’m proud of,” Bass said. “I’m proud of my people and my ancestors. It’s something that means a lot to us.”

The location of the powwow is part of the ancestral land of the tribe.

The event is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Grand entry of the dancers is at noon on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.