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Dover Post
  • Nanticoke Indian Association to present 37th annual Pow Wow

  • The Nanticoke Indian Association will celebrate its 37th annual Pow Wow near Millsboro with thousands of guests on Saturday and Sunday.
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  • The Nanticoke Indian Association will celebrate its 37th annual Pow Wow near Millsboro with thousands of guests on Saturday and Sunday.
    The event will be led by Dover resident and Nanticoke Indian Association Chief William Daisey.
    Before the festivities begin, here are four things to know about the Pow Wow:
    Lowdown on the Pow Wow
    About 27,000 people usually attend the Nanticoke Indian Association’s Pow Wow during the two-day event. The Pow Wow attracts Native Americans from all over the country, as well as Canada. It also draws non-Native Americans from throughout the state.
    One of the biggest annual events in Millsboro, the Pow Wow is a great opportunity for non-Native Americans to get a glimpse into Native American culture. Having the general public learn more about Nanticokes means a great deal to Daisey and his brethren.
    “More people are coming all the time [to the Pow Wow],” Daisey said. “It gives us more opportunity to promote our culture and heritage, and promote a great understanding of it”.
    A pow wow is a family reunion for Native Americans of all tribes, where they celebrate their heritage in a festival setting. The event includes lots of traditional singing and various dances by Native Americans dressed in regalia.
    The NIA’s Pow Wow will host more than 40 vendors who will offer a variety of arts and crafts, traditional Native American garb and accessories, weapons and other wares. Tasty cuisine also will be offered, including frybread (similar to a funnel cake), Indian tacos and buffalo burgers.
    Fancy footwork
    A major aspect of any pow wow is the dancing, which actually starts off the this weekend’s event.
    The dances are performed in a large area called “the circle.” There are dozens of unique moves Native Americans perform, and each one bears a special meaning. For example, there are social dances such as the Friendship Dance, which is one of the few that allows non-Native Americans to perform in the circle. There’s also the Jingle Dress Dance, a healing dance that’s done to bring emotional or physical healing to people in need.
    Non-Native Americans aren’t allowed to perform many dances in the circle, which helps to ensure that the quality of the dancing in a pow wow will remain strong, since it takes lots of practice to execute the moves properly, Daisey said.
    Millsboro native Adrienne Harmon, the lead female dancer for NIA, said she’s responsible for knowing dozens of dances and teaching them to the female and male members of her tribe.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I feel honored to be given the opportunity to represent my tribe and promote Native American awareness,” Harmon said.
    Debunking a myth
    Despite a common misconception to the contrary, Delaware actually has a generous number of Native American residents.
    The two biggest Native American tribes in Delaware are the Nanticokes, based in the Millsboro area, and the Lenapes, based in Cheswold.
    A lot of people don’t realize there a lot of Native Americans in the First State because they blend in with the general public so well, Daisey said.
    “They’re teachers, engineers, famers, plumbers and carpenters. They’re in all walks of life now,” he explained. “They’re not the image you see in some of the history books. They look like regular, everyday people.”
    IF YOU GO
    WHAT 37th annual Nanticoke Indian Association Pow Wow
    WHEN 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m., Sunday
    WHERE 26800 John J. Williams Highway, eight miles east of Millsboro
    COST $10 for guests in vehicles; $3 for guests on foot
    INFO Visit nanticokeindians.org or call 945-3400
    IF YOU GO
    WHAT 37th annual Nanticoke Indian Association Pow Wow
    WHEN 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m., Sunday
    WHERE 26800 John J. Williams Highway, eight miles east of Millsboro
    COST $10 for guests in vehicles; $3 for guests on foot
    INFO Visit nanticokeindians.org or call 945-3400
     

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