Annual powwow connects people through ceremony

Tribes from across the Valley are connecting with each other and honoring the heritage that links them.

Posted: Sep. 22, 2018 8:08 PM
Updated: Sep. 23, 2018 8:51 PM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Tribes from across the Valley are connecting with each other and honoring the heritage that links them.

The 23rd Annual Steve Witt Memorial Gathering of People Powwow is this weekend. It is happening at the Vigo County Conservation Club.

Chairman Bob DisPennett explains, "Native Americans like to get together and celebrate and that's what we do and I started twenty-three years ago. They got together and had a celebration and it's continued since and we just go out and celebrate and enjoy life."

Native American culture and history are depicted through song and dance, traditional regalia and homes created to represent a specific time.

DisPennett says, "So like, my tepee is setup like about 1880s, 1890s inside so it would have been how a family would have lived in the 1880s, 1890s."

Some have traveled from out-of-state to meet with like minded people.

Tracy Wilson teaches primitive fire skills and explains the need to pass on this knowledge.

"That information is being lost. The skills are being lost. Just like you hear the songs and the dances that are going on over here... One generation, a language, a dance, a song, a skill can all be lost."

People at the powwow say they have found friendship and kinship through dancing and ceremony.

DisPennett says, "It's almost like a family getting together, like a family reunion."

The powwow continues Sunday with gates opening at 10am. Admission is five dollars.

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