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Labor Day Pow Wow offers a glimpse into Native American heritage

September 01, 2010
SANBORNTON — Next weekend the woods of Sanbornton will come alive with the sound of drums as the 40th consecutive Labor Day Weekend Pow Wow gets underway at the Dulac Land Trust.

Each year Native Americans from all over the Northeast and even further gather for the event, living in everything from modern campers to traditional long houses and tee pees for the weekend. With many wearing native clothing for ceremonies and dance, they spend the weekend honoring their past and celebrating their future.

President of the Laconia Indian Historical Association and PowWow chairman Georgia Edwards said there will be three days of activities for old and young, and LIHA would like to invite the public to come observe and even participate in some of the events.

Friday evening will be a private Mourner's Feast, but on Saturday morning the gates will open and flags will be flying to honor those who serve their country, whether locally through police and fire departments or nationally through the military. Crafts for children, where they will create their own native art, will take place in the Sacs and Fox tent. That will be followed by a craft contest at 10 a.m. in the Arbor where handmade nature crafts will be judged.

"Crafters will display their items and ribbons will be awarded in different categories, including one for Judge's Choice and a People's Choice award," Edwards said.

The first Grand Entry will take place at 1 p.m. when Native Americans will parade in to the Arbor in native garb alongside veterans and other dignitaries.

From 2-6 p.m. there is more fun for the little ones planned.

"We'll have a Tiny Tots contest, which is a Native American dance competition, and all the children are invited to participate," she said.

Drumming for this year's event is being provided by The Four Winds Singers and Drum group and Head Dancers for the weekend are Sandi and Sis Rhoades. Edwards said any other Native American drummers who would like to participate will be welcomed also.

Saturday evening another Grand Entry will take place after dinner with dancing under the stars at the Arbor once more.

Sunday will be highlighted by an auction of Native American crafts at 10 a.m. Vendors will be on hand all weekend long featuring art work, literature, jewelry and a host of other fine crafts. Drumming will cease from 4-5 p.m. on that day as they enjoy the Big Feast and ready for the evening's Grand Entry.

Edwards said this year LIHA is bringing back more of their traditions that have not been incorporated in the Pow Wow for the past few years, such as the Lodge Competition.

LIHA respectfully requests that, while photography is allowed, people should refrain from taking pictures or video during prayer sessions, Honor Songs, flag raising events and any of the Grand Entries. Edwards said visitors should also ask permission before taking photos of anyone dressed in native regalia.

"We welcome any questions people have about Native American life and will be happy to talk to visitors about whatever it is they'd like to know," she said.

Gates open daily at 9 a.m. and a small donation is requested from those who attend with proceeds from the event benefiting the LIHA's scholarship and educational fund. A schedule of the weekend's activities can be found by clicking on "Labor Day" at www.laconiaindianhistoricalassociation.org. To get to the Dulac Land Trust at 109 Osgood Road from Interstate 93, take Exit 22 and head south on Route 127 towards Franklin for approximately one mile. Turn right onto Prescott Road then an immediate left onto Weeks Rd for 1.2 miles. The road name changes to Osgood Rd. and the entrance, distinguished by a large green mailbox, will be on the right.

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