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Proud past on display

AHOSKIE – Dancing, music, cultural demonstrations, and crafts are among the many things people can experience at the Chowanoke Nation Pow-Wow held at the Ahoskie Recreation Complex on April 28 through April 30. The annual event is a celebration of the local tribe’s cultural heritage as well as a way to share that heritage with the rest of the community.

The gates open at 10 a.m. each day with a variety of events scheduled throughout. Local schools are encouraged to bring students on School Day from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on April 28 for an educational experience in areas such as traditional dance, pottery, weapons, and jewelry-making. A replica of a longhouse will be on display all weekend as well.

Children enjoy the animal display presented by Newell Farms each year. The group takes care of rescued and rehabilitated animals, and they bring a variety, including live wolves, to the Pow-Wow every year.

But you don’t have to be a child to enjoy all the displays and demonstrations the Pow-Wow has to offer.

Some of the most anticipated events are the Grand Entry and dance competitions held throughout the weekend. Competitions are divided by dance style and age group. Participants range in age anywhere from toddlers to senior citizens. Grand Entry will take place on Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 12 noon and 7 p.m., and Sunday at 12 noon.

Other tribes are welcome to participate in the intertribal dances, and there are a few social dances open to anyone in attendance.

Aztec dancers from Mexico City will also hold daily performances.

Foods such as hotdogs, hamburgers, and baked goods are available throughout the weekend.

A nondenominational church service will be held on Sunday morning.

Vendors will be on hand selling crafts such as pottery, jewelry, and paintings as well as supplies for Native regalia. For anyone with questions about the tribe or its cultural heritage, there is also an informational booth for people to visit.

The Chowanoke Nation is a Native American tribe with its roots buried deep in the soil of Hertford and Gates counties. Today it consists of a couple hundred people locally, while others live throughout the country. They’re governed by a seven member council and a chief, and have recently begun renovations on a new tribal property located on Highway 13. The tribe is actively involved in different events to teach people about the history of the land along with the Native American culture, which is still alive and thriving today.

Admission for the Pow-Wow is $5 for adults and $3 for children and seniors. There is plenty of free parking at the Ahoskie Recreational Complex, located on Edgewood Drive. The Pow-Wow will be held rain or shine.