I was inspired to make this video after my visit to the 18th annual American Indian Heritage Celebration at the NC Museum of History on November 23rd. Did you know that there are over 122,000 American Indians living in the eight state-recognized Indian tribal communities in North Carolina?
All eight were well represented here: the Coharie, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Haliwa-Saponi, Lumbee, Meherrin, Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation and the Sappony and the Waccamaw Siouan. All told, approximately 33 Native American tribes have resided in North Carolina during the state’s recorded history.
It was actually a giant powwow, a large social gathering with lots of dancing, drumming and singing…a place where the people practice their identity and want to be proud of their identity. Parents and children alike shared the dance circle and the singing circle. There was a feeling here, a real spirit of friendship, love, open arms and hospitality — a feeling that no matter who you were or where you come from, you could stand together and dance together in one circle.
People from all walks of life come to this event.
Lots of reasons: Some people want to enjoy the beautiful outfits. Others just want to look at all the people because it’s a very big event. People watch and say “Wow! What’s that dance about? Why are they dancing this dance? What are the songs saying?”
So watch, listen and learn…most of all, ENJOY!
Warning: My bit about the Cherokee “Trail of Tears” may tug at your heart.
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians http://nc-cherokee.com/
Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation http://www.obsn.org/
Waccamaw Siouan: http://www.waccamaw-siouan.com/
Note: The Trail of Tears is a name given to the ethnic cleansing and forced relocation of Native American nations from southeastern parts of the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The removal included many members of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations, among others in the United States, from their homelands to Indian Territory in eastern sections of the present-day state of Oklahoma. Many Native Americans suffered from exposure, disease and starvation on the route to their destinations. Many died, including 2,000-6,000 of 16,542 relocated Cherokee. — Wikipedia