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Port Royal Powwow Attracts Hundreds

In the best attended event of the past several years, the 15th Annual Clarksville Area Intertribal Powwow held at the Port Royal State Historical Site attracted hundreds of visitors from the surrounding area. The Native Cultural Circle sponsors this event each year and donates sets of books about the life and customs of Native Americans to Montgomery County elementary schools with the proceeds.

Visitors see beautiful regalia worn by many Native Americans, most of whom spend from Friday night through Sunday night or Monday morning in tents on the Powwow Grounds.

The Head Lady Mayola Maizeand the Head Man Jesse Cross lead a dance
The Head Lady Mayola Maizeand the Head Man Jesse Cross lead a dance

For the fourth year, tribal members participated in the Annual Commemorative Trail of Tears Walk. The original walk occurred when the United States Government at the insistence of President Andrew Jackson forced a removal of many Indians so that white people could take their land.

In the early 1830s, about 125,000 Native Americans lived in parts of Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee. Their ancestors had been on these lands for generations. The Trail of Tears was the path these people were forced to walk until they reached “Indian territory” across the Mississippi River.

The 4th Annual Trail of Tears Memorial Walk
The 6th Annual Trail of Tears Memorial Walk

The participants in the Commemorative Walk are welcomed into the circle at the close of the walk. At noon the welcome and Grand Entry are held with posting of the colors and the Flag Song following.

Grandma Minnie tells a story to the kids
Grandma Minnie tells a story to the kids

Special events were held for the children attending as they were invited into the circle to find wrapped candy throughout the area. The education of participants in this year’s Powwow was a focus of the event.

Throughout the day visitors watch dancing, hear storytelling and see special exhibitions like that of the Hawaiian Civil Club. Vendor booths surround the circle; participants can see demonstrations of native crafts and can items like intricately carved walking sticks, jewelry, books about Native American life and customs, blankets, clothing, etc.

Veterans, police officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel are honored in the circle each year.

White Horse Singers are the host drummers for the Powwow with Southern Echo as guest drummers. The Master of Ceremonies for this year is Faron Weeks. Head Man Jesse Cross and Head Lady Mayola Maize greet the 2011 Powwow Princess, Eaglehorse Twodog, and the 2009-2010 Princess, Krista Koontz. Head Veterans are Clyde Maize and Charles Page with Bob “Two Bulls” Tulley as Arena Director.

Special thanks is given to the following for making this year’s successful event a reality: Bill Larson, Charlie Merritt, Clyde Maize, Dan and Donna Johnson, the David Britton family, Graham and Mary Harvey, the Koonz family, Neva and David Stephens, Niki Laughing Otter, Sarah, Thomas H. Adisi, Wendell Clark and Maria Lowery, Valerie and David Bridges, the Coca Cola/Dr. Pepper Bottling Company of Clarksville, Crossroads Christian Fellowship, Friends of Port Royal, Port Royal Café, Sam’s Club, and the Hawaiian Civic Club.

The Powwow is held each year on the second weekend of October. Be sure to add it to your calendar so that you’ll be sure to attend next year.

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Sue Freeman Culverhouse
Sue Freeman Culverhousehttp://culverhouseart.com/
Author of Tennessee Literary Luminaries: From Cormac McCarthy to Robert Penn Warren (The History Press, 2013) Sue Freeman Culverhouse has been a freelance writer for the past 36 years. Beginning in 1976, she published magazines articles in Americana, Historic Preservation, American Horticulturist, Flower and Garden, The Albemarle Magazine, and many others. Sue is the winner of two Virginia Press Awards in writing. She moved to Springfield, Tennessee in 2003 with her sculptor husband, Bill a retired attorney. Sue has one daughter,  Susan Leigh Miller who teaches poetry and creative writing at Rutgers University. Sue teaches music and writing at Watauga Elementary School in Ridgetop, Tennessee to approximately 500 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. She also publishes a literary magazine each year; all work in the magazine is written and illustrated by the students. Sue writes "Uncommon Sense," a column in the Robertson County Times, which also appears on Clarksville Online. She is the author of "Seven keys to a sucessful life", which is  available on amazon.com and pubishamerica.com; this is a self-help book for all ages.
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