MAXTON — The Lumbee Tribe will hold its annual spring powwow next weekend at the Lumbee Tribe’s Indian Cultural Center.
The “Dance of the Spring Moon” will feature a variety of dancers competing for thousands of dollars in prize money as well as a living history exhibit and stick ball games. The three-day event begins on Friday.
Tribal Chairman Harvey Godwin said he is delighted with the outpouring of support from the community and tribal workers to get the Cultural Center ready for the powwow.
He said about 250 volunteers – mostly UNC Pembroke students – spent April 9 cleaning up and repairing the grounds. They also picked up trash along the roadway leading to the Cultural Center.
“This just shows how much the community and the college care about these hallowed grounds,” Godwin said. “I have not seen this much enthusiasm in a long time. People are really pleased that the Lumbee Tribe is bringing the powwow back to the Cultural Center.”
Godwin said making an effort to return the Lumbee people to their Indian culture is what he promised during his run for the tribal chairman’s position last year. He has continued to deliver on his campaign promises.
“Our people deserve this,” he said. “We are a proud people with a rich culture and it’s important for us to recognize that. The Lumbee Tribe is proud to have the opportunity to bring this great event back to the old powwow grounds.”
Godwin said the powwow will showcase various elements of Indian culture.
This year’s powwow will feature some of the most talented dancers on the powwow circuit.
Several drum groups will also perform at the powwow. The host Northern drum, is War Paint and Southern Sun is the host Southern drum.
In between the drums, dancers and foods, the tribe will provide a lesson in Indian history and culture. There will be storytelling sessions at the historic Henry Berry Lowrie house. Indian historians will be at hand crafted wigwams and longhouses to provide cultural interpretations of the significance of preserving Indian culture. Cultural experts will also discuss dances and regalia, and provide demonstrations.
“We just need our people, especially our young people, to know their culture and treasure it,” Godwin said.
Vendors will also be on hand selling everything from barbecue, hamburgers, Indian corn, Indian tacos, fried Oreos and the ever-popular funnel cakes and collard sandwiches.
Grand entries are 7 p.m. on Friday; noon and 7 p.m. on Saturday; and 1 p.m. on May 8.
Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for children ages 6-12, and $5 for military and seniors ages 55 and older. Sunday admission is $5 and a weekend pass is only $18.
Limited parking is available at the Cultural Center. But, there will be reserved parking for motorcycles. There will also be reserved parking for the disabled and senior citizens. Overflow parking will be at Purnell Swett High School. Buses will shuttle patrons between the school and the powwow grounds.
Golf carts and all-terrain vehicles are not allowed on the premises for this event.
There will be a main tent for inclimate weather. The tent will be equipped with misting fan cooling systems for enhanced comfort levels. There is also a campsite set aside for those who wish to stay overnight. There will be showers available in the restroom areas as well as power supplies at the campground.
This is an alcohol, tobacco, drug, violence and gang free event.The cultural center is at at 638 Terry Sanford Rd. in Maxton.
For information, visit the Lumbee Tribe’s website at lumbeetribe.com or call (910) 521-7861.
James Locklear is editor of Native Visions Magazine