Powwow culture

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Native American Studies Week highlights music, dance, drumming

By Ashley Lowrimore

USC Lancaster will celebrate the powwow culture of indigenous music, dance and drumming during its 14th annual Native American Studies Week from March 15-21.
“While music and dance have always been a part of Native American culture, powwows, as we think of them today, are relatively new in Native culture, dating back not much more than a century,” said Dr. Stephen Criswell, USCL’s director of Native American studies.
“Today, powwows and other public cultural events involving traditional dance, regalia, music, processions and other performances have become an important way for Native people to preserve their culture, socialize with their community and with other tribes, and tell the story of their history and culture to non-native people.”
Seven events will be held during the week. Four will be at the Native American Studies Center, 119 S. Main St., Lancaster:
◆ Noon March 15 – Lunch and learn lecture, “Powwow: The Spark of Haliwa-Saponi Cultural Revitalization.” Dr. Marty Richardson (Haliwa-Saponi) will discuss a brief history of powwows and more about his drum group Stoney Creek.
◆ 9 a.m.-4 p.m. March 16 – Native American Arts and Crafts Festival. Shop for jewelry, Catawba pottery, Cherokee and Catawba baskets, quilts and artwork.
◆ 1-3 p.m. March 20 – Reception for museum exhibit “Wassamasaw Tribe of Varnertown Indians: One Community, One Family.” See traditional, historic items and contemporary art forms in this exhibit.
◆ 5-7 p.m. March 21 – Reception for opening of photo exhibit  “South Carolina Indigenous Celebrations.” Stunning powwow photography brings Native American Studies Week 2019 to a close.
Three more events will take place at USC Lancaster:
◆ 6 p.m. March 15 – The Warriors of AniKituhwa brings to life the Cherokee War Dance and Eagle Tail Dance. This presentation will be in USCL’s Gregory YMCA gym at 512 Hubbard Drive.
◆ 1 p.m. March 18 – Film screening, “The Business of Fancydancing.” This Sherman Alexie drama follows a young poet who reunites with his Spokane community after the death of a friend. This event will be at Bundy Auditorium, 476 Hubbard Drive.
◆ 1 p.m. March 19 – Panel discussion, “Powwows, Music and Dance.” Ronnie Beck (Catawba) and Kris Carpenter (Catawba) will discuss powwow culture and etiquette. This event will be held in the Arnold Special Events Room in the Bradley Building, 476 Hubbard Drive.
These events are sponsored in part by OceanaGold/Haile Operation. Events are free and open to the public. For details, call (803) 313-7172 or visit www.sc.edu/Lancaster/nativeamericanstudiescenter.