Powwow defines success

Published 10:08 pm Tuesday, August 21, 2018

It was clear this weekend that the 30th annual Nansemond Indian Tribe powwow was cause for celebration.

In a happy coincidence, the 30th anniversary of the event happened the same year as the first powwow after the tribe gained federal recognition, a goal the tribe had sought for more than a decade. It’s also five years into the tribe’s development of Mattanock Town, an authentic recreation of a Nansemond village that is coming along nicely.

Special guests included Sen. Tim Kaine and Congressman Bobby Scott, an indication of how they helped the tribe and five others in Virginia finally gain federal recognition this year.

Email newsletter signup

By all accounts, the powwow was well attended and featured even more ways to learn about and become immersed in Nansemond culture than in past years.

The theme of this year’s powwow was definitely “progress,” seen in the progress of Mattanock Town and the progress made with the federal recognition and just in the last seven months since.

The powwow is part reunion for Nansemonds who are spread across the country as well as their peers who belong to other tribes. It’s also part cultural event, one of the best and most important in this area, which helps educate folks on the dress, food, music, arts, lifestyles and history of the people who lived on the banks of the Nansemond River and other local waterways long before European invaders wrote in their diaries about instigating violent clashes with the people who were already living on the land they wanted to inhabit.

The powwow is a unique experience, where newcomers will surely be wowed by the dancing, the regalia, the music, the arts and, of course, the food. They’ll enjoy the kids’ dances and be honored by the solemn recognition of veterans, which is an important part of any powwow.

We’re pleased to see that so many people attended the powwow, that the city remains a supporter of it and that there’s no sign of the progress slowing down anytime soon.