Wampanoag powwow in Aquinnah
Photo by Lynn Christoffers
The 6th annual Wampanoag powwow was held at the Gay Head circle in Aquinnah over the weekend. Scores of the curious and committed came on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons to learn more about American Indian culture and history. They were treated to exhibitions of traditional drumming and dance, as well as a tempting array of traditional food.
Among the participants and vendors, there was representation from tribes ranging from Oklahoma to Maine, Canada to the Carolinas, including Narragansett, Sioux, Mashantucket Pequot, Shinnecock, Mashpee Wampanoag, Micmac, Cree, Meherrin, and of course the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah).
After a lull of some 70 years, the local Wampanoag youth group lobbied for the resumption of powwows earlier this decade. Every year since then, the powwow has grown, and organizers hope for continued expansion.
"We're trying to get more people each year," said Bettina Washington, historic preservation officer for the tribe, "and not only American Indians, but the public as well — to educate. We're looking forward to expanding."