Celebrate 30th powwow

Published 9:41 pm Monday, August 13, 2018

One of the best and most important events of the year in Suffolk is coming up this weekend, and you’re doing yourself and your family a disservice if you miss it — especially this year.

The Nansemond Indian Tribe’s annual powwow will take place for the 30th year this Saturday and Sunday. In addition to being a landmark anniversary of the event, it’s the first powwow since the tribe gained federal recognition about seven months ago, an event that was a long time coming and hard fought for by many members of the Nansemonds and other Virginia tribes.

Suffice to say that there will be lots of celebration during this powwow in particular, but there will also be some element of sadness for those members of the tribe who have gone before and did not get to see the long-awaited recognition come to fruition.

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The powwow is a fantastic event that can help folks learn about the first inhabitants of what’s now called Suffolk. Education on Nansemond culture, including its dancing, music, food, crafts and more, will be readily available through the incredible dancers, the authentic vendors and the Mattanock Town displays that include longhouses, walking trails and more.

Many members of the tribe will be in attendance to talk with visitors and provide education about this area’s first inhabitants and about how the tribe continues to thrive today.

The powwow will be held on Saturday and Sunday on the tribe’s Chuckatuck land at 1001 Pembroke Lane, just off Godwin Boulevard and across from Oakland Elementary School. Festivities will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The grand entry ceremony, which will begin at noon on Saturday and at 1 p.m. on Sunday, features the tribal chiefs, honor guard and dancers in traditional regalia presenting the colors.

Military veterans and their family members will be invited into the circle alongside the tribal dancers for the audience to applaud them for their service and sacrifices. There’s also a kids’ dance.

Best of all, there is no entry fee for this event, so get out there and have a great time.