Women’s role in Native American life focus of event

Last updated: September 16. 2013 5:15PM - 1361 Views
Lauren Williams Staff Writer

Lauren Williams/Sampson IndependentAuthentic Native American dancing, both in exhibition and competition, is a highlight of the annual Coharie Indian Cultural Pow-Wow.
Lauren Williams/Sampson IndependentAuthentic Native American dancing, both in exhibition and competition, is a highlight of the annual Coharie Indian Cultural Pow-Wow.
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Hundreds gathered at the Coharie Tribal Grounds this past weekend for the Coharie Indians’ 44th annual Cultural Pow-Wow, a festive event that recalls the tribe’s heritage as well as helps to ensure its future. Through the Pow-Wow, both participants and attendees remember the tribe’s history, learn more about native culture, and pass on to younger generations the legacy and numerous traditions of the Native American people.

The Pow-Wow kicked off Friday, Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. and continued into the night ending at 1 a.m. the following morning. On Saturday, the festivities began again at 9 a.m. and continued until noon.

Hundreds packed the event both days, allowing for yet another successful weekend for the Coharie tribe.

The theme of this year’s Pow-Wow was “We’re Still Here,” based on a song released last year by Nadine Patrick. “It acknowledges that we are still here, where we’ve been and how hard our ancestors worked, explained Charlene Jacobs, the marketing director and a volunteer for the Coharie Tribe, during an earlier interview.

The Coharie people also chose to focus this year’s event on Native American women and the important place they have in native tribes and communities.

Both days of the Pow-Wow were filled with a variety of Native American activities including two grand entries honoring the tribe’s chief and other tribes’ dignitaries, authentic drumming and dancing exhibitions and competitions, traditional crafts and artwork, and plenty of Native American food.

During the Pow-Wow, the tribe also held its second annual Spoken Word event from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the Coharie Tribal Auditorium.

According to the tribe’s website, the purpose of the Spoken Word event “is to highlight our cultures’ progression among the generations,” noting that dance, song, and music created with hand drums and flutes are also used to chronicle the culture’s journey over time. “We are creating a platform to highlight the positive impact of our culture through these expressions of art.”

“We’re just carrying on the tradition,” shared Jacobs. “We don’t want to forget our culture. We want to let the young people know how we existed all these years.”

In addition to paying tribute to its own heritage, the Coharie tribe also honored veterans and servicemen and women with a Warriors Memorial Ride on Saturday. Participants completed a 90 mile — over two hour long — ride through Sampson County in honor and remembrance of those who have served the U.S. and its people.

All of the proceeds from this year’s Pow-Wow, Spoken Word event, and Warriors Memorial Ride will be used to meet the various tribal needs. Specifically, the funds raised will help feed the senior community three times a week and help the tribe maintain their community buildings and grounds.

To learn more about the Coharie Indians, please visit their website at www.coharietribe.org.

Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at lwilliams@civitasmedia.com.

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