The Pow Wow continues today from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. An auction will take place at 2:30. Adult admission is $5 and children 5 and under are admitted free.
A tradition that’s expanded over two decades, the Mountain Spirit Pow Wow is taking place this weekend at the Mason-Dixon Historical Park.
The noticeable smell of sage filled the air Saturday, which Glen McGahan, head dancer at the pow wow, said helps ward off negative attitudes. He said often people will smudge their regalia, which promotes positive energy.
Phyllis Bruce said the whole thing started with her mother, Betty Beird, who is now 87. In 1998 she started pow wows. The pow wow bounced around to several different locations, but found its way back to the Mason-Dixon Historical Park a few years back.
“She is very much, in her heart, Native American, some heritage is there too, the Cherokee. But we don’t put it on to make money. It’s for the culture and how people actually see what Native American music, dance and regalia is all about,” she said.
Bruce is Cherokee. The gentleman playing in the drum circle Saturday came from Cherokee, N.C. Bruce however said there are a plethora of different tribes represented at the pow wow, called an intertribal, with no specific tribe.
Keeping the culture is important to Bruce.
“It’s so ignored and forgotten and it should be uppermost in people’s minds. That’s how this country started out,” she said.
Micky Tinker was making Indian tacos and buffalo burgers. He’s been associated with the pow wow for about 12 years. Since coming back to the park, Tinker said the pow wow has drawn larger crowds.
He said many vendors have Native American-made goods or Native America-style pieces.
Representatives from the Native American Heritage Museum in Kentucky were in attendance.
Bruce and Tinker run a food pantry in Wadestown, and are part of the Native American Community Center, a nonprofit that uses recycled goods to purchase that food.
And what would a pow wow be without dancing? Several different dances were represented by different people, from different tribes. A medicine dance, a chicken dance and a hoop dance, where a dancer takes several hoops and will create different shapes.
McGahan, toting an eagle’s tail got all the dancers started and encouraged those in the crowd to dance with them.
McGahan and his wife, Wyandot, are Cherokee. His wife is also part Blackfoot.
“It gives us a chance to come out and dance with each other in fellowship outside the circle with all the others,” he said.