Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - June 2008
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Alabama Coushatta tribe to host 40th Powwow
Polk County Enterprise - June 2008
INDIAN VILLAGE – The 40th Annual Alabama-Coushatta Reservation’s Powwow gets under way this coming Friday, June 6 with Gourd Dancing, followed by an Grand Entry processional that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. The thrill in the air is always palpable as Native American dancers in full regalia enter the dance arena. Men, women and children dressed in their finest handmade regalia will present themselves to the audience before competition begins at the powwow. The event runs Friday and Saturday, June 6 and 7 beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday with the gourd dancing. The Grand Entry is scheduled for 7 p.m. Dance competition scheduled for this evening is Tiny Tots and Junior Boys & Girls (all categories). Saturday’s schedule kicks off with a parade at 11 a.m., with Gourd Dancing at 2 p.m. Gourd dancing will follow again at 5 p.m. and Grand Entry for the second evening at 7 p.m.
Competition for Saturday evening includes all the adult categories like the Men’s Fancy Dance which is a highlight of the evening. Food, arts and crafts will be available for sale on the powwow grounds. The admission fee is $5 per person with children 3 and under admitted free. Visitors are advised to bring their lawn chairs as seating is limited. Joining the Alabama-Coushatta for this annual event will be dancers and singers from all over the United States and Canada beginning with the Host Northern Drum Group “Medicine Tail” from Atmore, Alabama with “Southern Thunder” out of Pawnee, Oklahoma serving as the Host Southern Drum. Host Gourd Dancers will be the Texas Kiowa Tiah Piah Society from Crowley, Texas.
The Master of Ceremonies is Dean Whitebreast from Montour, Iowa. He will be assisted by Herbert Johnson, Jr., a member of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe. Taking care of the dance arena will be Dale Roberts from Ada, Oklahoma and Quanah Whitethunder, who is also a member of the Alabama Coushatta Tribe. The responsibility of making sure all the contests go smooth belongs to Robert Tehauno of Apache, Oklahoma. The powwow is held every year to educate the public on the culture and traditions of not only the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe but Native Americans in general. The master of ceremonies will explain what is taking place in the arena and visitors will be invited to participate at various points. The powwow also serves as a homecoming for tribal members who live away from the reservation. The Alabama-Coushatta Tribes respectfully reminds everyone this is a drug and alcohol free event. In conjunction with the 40th annual powwow, a parade will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday morning, June 7. Entries include current and former princesses, tribal leadership, dancers and other organizations. The parade route will be on State Park Road 56 in front of the Tribe’s administration offices. For more information on the powwow and parade, please contact the Public Relations.