Festival educates, entertains
History came alive Saturday for those who visited the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PCI) Pow Wow Grounds.
PCI hosted its second annual Southeastern Indian Festival, bringing together tribal dancers, artisans and performers from several regional Indian tribes, including Alabama Poarch, Oklahoma Poarch, Oklahoma Chickasaw, Mississippi Choctaw, Cherokee and Seminole.
On Thursday and Friday, PCI welcomed several groups of school children to the pow wow grounds, offering hands-on lessons about Indian culture and history. The festival was opened to the public Saturday, as visitors enjoyed the “living history” lessons offered by talented tribal members.
“This is truly an educational event,” said Robert Thrower, historic preservation officer for PCI. “These are some of the best living history performers that you’ll ever see.”
Thrower provided a demonstration of his own, showing visitors how PCI’s ancestors used inventions to improve their hunting skill and weaponry. Other artisans displayed artwork and crafts, and several tribes performed authentic dances.
“This is a great way for people to get a close look at authentic southeastern Indian culture,” Thrower said.
Trevor Hay, one of the living history demonstrators, said that the school children really enjoyed visiting the festival.
“We had several groups who came through here and I think they had a great time,” he said.