Pow Wow prep finalized

Published 4:43 am Wednesday, November 26, 2008

By By MaryClaire Foster
What started as a reunion for Tribal members has grown into a thousands strong event every Thanksgiving.
The 38th annual Poarch Creek Indians Pow Wow will be held tomorrow and Friday on the PCI reservation off of Jack Springs Road.
“It was a homecoming of sorts for the Tribe and it just grew and grew,” Edie Jackson, Tribal administrator, said. “It’s a lot of work for the employees, but it’s also a tradition and something we really enjoy.”
Mandy Peebles, tribal administrative events coordinator, agreed the Pow Wow is something the Tribe always looks forward to holding.
The Pow Wow includes several different activities throughout the day that deal with traditional Indian heritage and brings Tribes from throughout the nation to Atmore where they wear traditional regalia and perform traditional dances.
Also at the Pow Wow are roughly 45 vendors selling beadwork, basketry, quilts, silverwork and other craft items.
Along with a multitude of craft vendors, there are several food vendors. Jackson said the Indian roasted corn, which cooked over oak wood fires on open pit grills, is one of the most popular items. There is also turkey and dressing, ham, fried chicken, fish, chicken and dumplings and barbecue available.
The Pow Wow festivities on Thanksgiving Day begin at 9:45 a.m. with the Oklahoma Creek Stomp Dancers performing.
At 10:45 a.m. the Poarch Creek Indians Pow Wow Club will perform different styles of dancing. The Pow Wow Club was formed last year and is part of the Cultural Education Department. It has grown from 11 members last year to 25. The Club is made up of children ages nine to 14 who participate in performing dances in traditional regalia.
Following the Pow Wow Club performance, Mallory Young, the reigning senior princess, will be singing the National Anthem and Tribal Chairman Buford L. Rolin will welcome everyone. The Tribal youth will then give a presentation.
The annual princess contest begins at noon. The winning senior princess acts as an ambassador for the Tribe for a year.
Princesses are judged on individual interviews, competition dancing and their dresses’ and accessories’ significance.
The grand entry immediately follows the princess contest and then will occur again at 5 p.m. on Thursday and at 12 p.m. on Friday. The grand entry showcases intertribal dancing and a dance competition follows and lasts throughout the two days.
At 4 p.m. the Oklahoma Creek Stomp Dancers will also perform again.
Tribal historic preservation officer Robert Thrower will be giving cultural presentations Thursday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Poarch Consolidated School.
Thrower has documented the Tribe’s history from different times and will give presentations hourly.
Friday’s mound activities will begin at 10 a.m. with the Oklahoma Creek Stomp Dancers and at 11 a.m. the Poarch Creek Indians Pow Wow Club will perform again. The dance arena activities begin at noon with the intertribal dance and dance competition. The Pow Wow concludes at 5 p.m. when dance competition winners are announced and awards are given.
A pig chase and turkey shoot will be held on both days, as well as other activities for children, including an inflatable obstacle course and pony rides.
There will be a stomp dance at Poarch’s Wellness &Activities Center Friday night after the Pow Wow is completed.
The stomp dance is a social dance that begins at 8 p.m. It is open to the public with no cost for admission.
Admission to the Pow Wow is $5 for individuals ages 12 and above, $3 for children ages six to 11 and children age 5 and under get in free. PCI Tribal members are admitted free with their Tribal IDs.

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