Powwow returns next week

Published 10:29 pm Thursday, August 8, 2019

The 31st annual Nansemond Indian Powwow will soon bring numerous tribes to Suffolk for a celebration of their culture and heritage.

This powwow is a free, family-friendly event with traditional Native American song, dance and dress, along with delicious food, traditional crafts and other fun activities.

The powwow will be held on Aug. 17 and 18 on the tribe’s Chuckatuck land at 1001 Pembroke Lane, which runs off Godwin Boulevard across from Oakland Elementary School. Festivities on Aug. 17 will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Aug. 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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The grand entry ceremony will begin at noon on Aug. 17 and 1 p.m. on Aug. 18. Tribal chiefs, honor guard and dancers in traditional regalia will present the colors before the drums start beating and the dancing commences.

Clark Stewart will be the powwow’s master of ceremonies, and Maurice Proctor will be the arena director. The head man and woman will be Daniel Gear and Leah Fortune, respectively, with Stoney Creek as the host drum and War Paint as the guest drum.

Military veterans and their families will be invited to join the tribal dancers in the circle to receive applause for their service and sacrifices.

Food sales will include hamburgers and hotdogs, plus more traditional flavors like Native American fried bread and Indian tacos, both of which are very popular among visitors.

Chief Sam Bass said that there will be an additional food vendor this year to assist with the large crowds of visitors.

Visitors will buy both food and wares at the powwow, with vendors offering flutes, walking sticks, jewelry and other items that reflect their rich culture. Space is still available for more vendors to register, as well.

“It’s a Native American celebration of remembering and celebrating the culture that we have inherited, and to continue that on as our ancestors had for the last 400 years,” Chief Bass said in a phone interview.

The Suffolk Public Library’s Library2Go Bookmobile will be onsite, as will be a petting zoo. Bass expressed gratitude to the city of Suffolk for its continued support of the Nansemond Indian Nation.

“It’s just incredible what the city does to help us,” Bass said. “We really appreciate the assistance that they give us.”

There is no admission fee for the event. No drugs, alcohol or pets will be allowed, but therapy or comfort pets may be permitted.

Search for “31st Annual Nansemond Indian Pow Wow” on Facebook for more information on the event, and visit nansemond.org for more information on the Nansemond Indian Nation.

Vendor spaces are available for a $200 fee. Call 514-1428 or email contact@nansemond.org for more information.