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October 13, 2013

NCC’s 16th Annual Intertribal Powwow brings understanding, insights

Port Royal, TN – Clarksville’s Native Cultural Circle opened the 16th Annual Intertribal Powwow with the 7th Annual Commemoration Trail of Tears Walk. The Walk, along the last unaltered stretch of the Trail of Tears, was conducted at the Port Royal State Historical Area, across from the Powwow Grounds at 3011 Port Royal Road, just across the Red River Bridge.

Coming into The Powwow Circle

Coming into The Powwow Circle

Remembering those who perished along the way, those who persevered, and those who chose not to be moved, the walkers paid homage to moment of history that can not be unwritten but does not control the course of behavior in the present. The tree lined pathway was tranquil in its greeting of the walkers, offering up no indications of the hardships endured by those ancestors who trod the woods those many years ago. The gathering proceeded on to the Powwow Campgrounds.

Providing the music, which is a vital part of the day’s sounds, is Host Drum- The White Horse Singers with Guest Drum- Mimi’z Boys. They follow the direction of Master of Ceremonies Faron Weeks who directs the day’s activities with skillful finesse. At 12 noon, the Grand Entry was performed. This ceremony brings the Posting of the Colors and is the formal opening of the Powwow each day. Veterans are asked to participate as a way of honoring their sacrifice and service to the nation. This harkens to an essential element of Native American culture as warriors were  looked upon to protect the people, such is the the regard for military and EMS personnel. The Powwow dancers follow with the Head Lady Debi McDaris and Head Man David McDaris leading the way.  Within this group is the 2013 Powwow Princess Mechutay Mankiller andher court, 2011-12 Powwow Princess Eaglehorse Twodog and 2009-2010 Powwow Princess Krista Koontz. All the dancers are dressed in regalia for the Grand Entry.

Showing a Young One the way

Showing a Young One the way

With Grand Entry and Flag Song complete, the Powwow’s main activity of dances gets underway. Storytelling which imparts Native American fables and  principles of life for the children are also part of the Powwow tradition. Amongst the dancing and vendors offering wares for purchase, fellowship is taking place. Families and friends re-connect, and share info. New associations and friendships are made, ever widening the circle of association and fellowship which runs deep within the Native American Indian community and tradition.

[Photos by turner McCullough Jr./JazzWaves Imaging Solutions]

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