Shelbyville Daily Union

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September 14, 2012

Kaskaskia River Powwow to be held Sept. 21-23

SHELBYVILLE, IL. — The beat of drums will fill the air near the Lake Shelbyville spillway September 21-23 as the first annual Kaskaskia River Powwow comes to the area.

Representatives of the Cherokee, Lakota, Blackfoot, Haliwa-Saponi, Sac-Fox, Oneida, and Northern Arapaho tribes will gather for a celebration of the Native American heritage and provide an educational experience for those visiting.

“This is not like the (Frontiersman) Rendevous - not at demonstration of skills,” said organizer Mitzi Cooper. “This has a very educational aspect to it. The dances will all be explained as to what they are doing and why they are doing it.”

At the beginning of the day, the colors are posted and all dancers are in regalia and in the circle at once.

“It is quite a sight to see all the colors and different regalia all at once. It is a favorite time for spectators,” Cooper said.

The dances are just one activity of the Powwow. Each of the vendors will display various crafted items, such as blankets, leather pouches, Indian jewelry, Indian foods, and give visitors a description about the items.

A hand drum competition will also be held Saturday evening. Participants will play and sing.

There will be a special veterans recognition on Saturday evening. All veterans are encouraged to attend.

“Originally a Powwow was organized as a gathering of those with Native Ameican heritage. Those attending have become close. It’s like a family - a Powwow family,” Cooper said.

Other Powwows have been held at Litchfield, Edwardsville, Leroy, and Taylorville.

“We hope to make this an annual event here. It will depend on attendance, vendors and the site,” Cooper said.

Main Street School will also hold its annual Grandparent’s Day at the Powwow.

“They will teach a dance and explain what the dance is about. There will also be a storyteller,” Cooper said.

There is no admission fee and the public is welcome to attend Vendors are open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Dancing begins at noon

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