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Lewes, Delaware
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August 29, 1997     Cape Gazette
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August 29, 1997
 

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78 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, August 29 - September 4, 1997 Annual Na:nLticoke Indian Powwow slated Sept. 6-7 Tribal members are gearing up come true," Clark said. selling authentic Indian-made Millsboro and 12 miles east of For more information, contact for the 20th Annual Nanticoke In- dian Powwow, set for Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 6-7 near Mills- boro, to celebrate their native cul- ture and share it with their visi- tors. This annual event has grown tremendously over the past two decades, garnering greater atten- tion and attendance each year. Scarcely a thousand people at- tended the 1977 powwow; recent estimates place the crowds above 40,000 and growing. "The response has been fantas- tic," said Nanticoke Chief Ken- neth "Red Deer" Clark. "Their continued interest in our powwow tells us that they [et as much out of it as we do. People often tell us that they learn a lot about our tribe and Native Americans in general through this event. They leave here knowing a little more about us, and that's good," he said. He added that this being the 20th con- secutive powwow the tribe has held "makes a special event more special." Clark said the powwow, which is open to the public, is a continu- ation of Nanticoke tribal customs that have been handed down through the centuries. In tradition- al times, he said, "pauwaus" were held to settle disagreements among people, for socialization purposes, and to celebrate the phases of the growing season. Shortly after the turn of the centu- ry, the Nanticoke tribe began holding public powwows in near- by Riverdale, Clark said, quickly becoming a popular local event. "Until the mid-1940s, our tribe held powwows down along the beach around Thanksgiving and harvest time," he said. Then, as now, the Chief said, guests from other tribes came to dance and sing with the Nanticokes and cele- brate their shared heritage. "But then World War II broke out, at the same time that our school-age children were being sent to Indian School in Kansas. Having a pow- wow kind of became impossible because of gas rationing, our young men being drafted or enlist- ing, and everything else, so it was discontinued," Clark said. Interest in the powwow was re- vived in the 1970s when tribal members, looking for a way to preserve their ancient traditions, decided to create the Nanticoke Indian Museum out of one of their old abandoned schoolhouses. Clark said his people were able to kill two birds with one stone by reinstituting the powwow as a public event. "Through the powwow, the youth of our tribe were once again learning aspects of their culture that had to be laid aside while we Indians played catch-up with the world around us. And by adding a fund-raising aspect to the pow- wow, we were able to bring the public in with us to celebrate our culture plus raise some funds to help make our museum dream Through modest parking fees and the sale of" souvenir items, such as powwow t-shirts and pro- gram books, as well as Indian foods and other refreshments, the tribe was able to open the museum doors in 1984. Since that time, the Annual Nanticoke Indian Pow- wow remains the sole funding source for the tribe's Nanticoke Indian Museum. "That's it for us. We don't re- ceive state or federal funding, and we don't have a casino to draw from," Clark laughed. "Fry bread, succotash, t,shirts and books are what keeps our museum doors open and the lights lit." At the powwow, spectators will see more than 40 tribes gathered in their native clothing to perform traditional songs and dances of their people. Sixty vendor booths will be onthe powwow grounds jewelry, featherwork, baskets and other native arts and crafts. The Nanticoke Drummers and Singers and Dance Troupe will lead the festivities, joined by the Young- blood Singers as guest drum. The museum will be open both days for tours. Grand entry for the powwow is at noon on Saturday, Sept. 6, with two afternoon dance sessions that day. On Sunday, the day begins at 10:30 a.m. with outdoor worship services. After a lunch break, there will be one afternoon dance session. There is no admission fee, but there is a $5 parking fee. All proceeds from parking fees, souvenir items and the Nanticoke food booths go directly into the museum fund. "We're easy to find," Clark said. "The powwow site is just off Route 24, seven miles west of Route 1. It's a good time for peo- the tribe at 945-3400, or the muse- pie of all ages." um at 945-7022. % R| NITS Our 5th Season Fresh Pasta, Veal, Chicken and Seafood Prepared Daily Dinner 5pm' 10:30 pm Closed Tuesday 32 Lake Ave., Rehoboth Beach For Reservations 226-1160 ' II I[' II| Angle Moon photo Peppi Eagle Wing Highsmith of New Jersey, a member of the Nanticoke tribe, appears in full regalia at a recent Nanti- coke Powwow. This year's event will be held Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 6-7 near Millsboro. f._ But.tery\\;but:tc,.r\n. (Old English) a place where bread and ale are stored. (s/nce 1994), fabulous food, european charm, exciting caf6 by day-- elegant candlelight dining nightly, quaint cocktail bar, proficient, friendly service, great wine list, in Historic Downtown Lewes. at New Devon Inn The Buttery LUNCH 11-3 SUNDAY BRUNCH 10:30-2:30 DINNER FROM 5 $14.95 PRIX FIXE DINNERS EVERY NIGHT UNTIL 630 Closed Mondays 142 Second Street in Ristodc Downtown Lewes. 645-7755 .