By Schyler Martin for the SNAP
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 —
The town of Badin celebrated its centennial and its rich history with the first day of an authentic Native American intertribal powwow last Friday.
The powwow featured authentic food, crafts, door prizes, raffles, singing, drumming and dancing. Members of tribes from across the United States were present. Some of these tribes included Cherokee, Lumbee, Chippewa, Mohawk, Blackfoot, Cree and Hallwa-Saponi.
The highlight of Friday’s powwow was the grand entry of the dancers. Before entering the area, Rick Kelly, the arena director, blessed the grounds that would be danced on. The dancers then entered the circle together, and Kelly said a blessing to kick off the powwow.
Throughout the evening the dancers performed a variety of dances. In many of the dances, such as the veterans’ dance, which showed respect and gratitude for those who have sacrificed to help others, audience members were invited to join the dancers.
In the dance of friendship, Native American dancers and audience members stood in a circle and held hands while dancing.
Dancers wore feathers, vibrant colors, animal skins and face paint. The outfits they wore were called “Regalia” rather than costumes, and they were sacred. Regalia tells the story of where the dancer comes from and what tribe they represent. It is often deeply personal.
Mike and Jeannie Cranford were the lead dancers at the powwow. Harland Richardson emceed the event. NaMaWoChi served as the host Drum. NaMaWoChi, which consists of several men from various tribes, provided music for the dancers.
NaMaWoChi was the first Native American Drum to be invited to Arlington National Cemetery to drum on Veterans Day. The men have also performed a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Richardson said they perform about 20 powwows a year.
As well as dancing, three teepees were set up at the powwow to celebrate Native American heritage and history. They were painted authentically and represented the tribes present at the event.
Badin was established in 1913. It has always been revered for its town lineage and rich history. Evidence suggests tribes from across the nation traveled great distances to reach Badin. The Hardaway Site, an archeological site in town, suggests the area was of great ceremonial significance to Native Americans throughout history.
The powwow was at the lakeside field across from Badin Business Park just off N.C. 740 in Badin.
Raffle winners were: Vicki Eudy, Pendleton blanket; Reggie Almond, Native American flute; Maryanne Craver, leather bag.
Schyler Martin is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News & Press.