Powwow: The Spark of Haliwa-Saponi Cultural Revitalization

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March 15, 2019 -

Lancaster, SC

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Date:
March 15, 2019 -

Location:
University of South Carolina Lancaster Native American Studies Center: 119 South Main Street, Lancaster, SC

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By: Dr. Marvin M. Richardson (Haliwa-Saponi)

Although the word powwow has its origins in the Northeastern Algonquian peoples and originally described a spiritual healer, today powwow is the universal word used to describe intertribal gatherings which are held throughout North America. For the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe of North Carolina, the adoption of the powwow tradition sparked a cultural, spiritual, and political revitalization, which celebrated its recognition as Native peoples despite a social and governmental system intent on enforcing a black-white binary.

In this presentation, I describe how and why the Haliwa-Saponis and others have embraced the powwow culture as a means of cultural revitalization and why it is so important to the tribe and other Native peoples today. The tribe’s annual powwow is a homecoming, supports tribal sovereignty, generates revenue for the tribe’s programs and services, and encourages traditional arts and crafts, dance, singing, and language revitalization.

Various Haliwa-Saponi dancers, craftspeople, singers, and participants travel North America representing their tribe in the great cultural exchange that describes the modern-day powwow. I will share my knowledge of powwow dancing and singing, as well as my personal experience as a powwow dancer, singer, emcee, and participant of over forty years.

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Venue:

University of South Carolina Lancaster Native American Studies Center: 119 South Main Street, Lancaster, SC

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Submitted by Paul G on: March 9, 2019


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