2017 Native American Festival shares unique Culture

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The Spirit of the Warrior and Veteran Pow Wow was a unique and wonderful experience. Tyishka and her volunteers combined history, culture.(Photo:LeahO'Neill/RheaReview)

Spirit of Warrior and Veteran Pow Wow is history, culture and fun

Dayton, TN  —  The Spirit of the Warrior and Veteran Pow Wow was a unique and wonderful experience. Tyishka and her volunteers combined history, culture, and music for a fun filled family experience!

I had the great honor of working with the Pow Wow this year doing the photography. I was able to watch it grow from a concept to the actual event.  I got to sit at the Rustic Pail off of HWY 27 and listen to all the wonderful ideas for the festival. The main idea was to cultivate historical knowledge and understanding while entertaining everyone.

As I walked around the festival, I saw the hard work from the planning during the year come alive with dancing, drumming, crafter’s, and families enjoying the powwow. The MC had the children dancing and looking for candy to encourage dancing in the circle. I saw the head dancers honoring their ancestors by dancing traditionally.  On that same note, I was amazed at the rich history of each dance from the grass dancers to the Mayan.

Across the Americas each tribe has a way to call upon nature to tell a story.  The grass dancer pushes down the grass in such a way that the other dancing will not kill the grass. The Shaw dancers, Mayan, and so many tell a story’s.  As an avid reader, I love a good story, but I never though about dancing being words.  One of the many reasons I love working with historical and traditional festivals!

I had the great honor of talking with Two Bulls who was the Circle Leader. He is a man who understands the traditions and the sacredness of the Circle.  He cleanses and protects the spirit within the Circle. When I was talking with him, he and Standing Grizzly both spoke of the importance of tradition and understanding.  Everyone I spoke to emphasized how important it is to remember where we come from so as to know where to go. Many times we as a people do not learn from our history, but if we keep trying and keep remembering our past than we will learn to make a better future for our children.  I believe that is one of the biggest lessons from the Pow Wow: remember where you come from, keep alive the lessons, and remember who you are.

I send this out to you: Take a moment to remember where you come from and see what will make tomorrow better.

Your Friend,

Leah O’Neill

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