The return of the King City Powwow, Redhawk’s Gathering of Nations, is set to be held at the American Legion Post in King this weekend.
“This is and has always been the people’s powwow,” said organizer Lance Redhawk Shauger. “We honor our veterans and warriors, law enforcement, fire and EMS and attempt to raise food to help our community.”
Shauger and Patrick Suarez have been planning the event, and said it’s best described as a time to honor the Native American culture.
“A modern powwow is a specific type of event for Native American people to meet and dance, sing and socialize. A powwow can vary in length from a one-day event, to major powwows called for a special occasion which can be up to one week long,” Shauger said.
The annual powwow took some time off before beginning again last year.
“My brother was murdered in New York on June 11 in 2011 so the powwow was cancelled in August of that year,” Shauger said. “At the time I was the only organizer. It has been a pleasure and a blessing to partner with Patrick to bring this event back to the City of King.”
Shauger said the sights, sounds and smells will come alive at this year’s event as it unfolds throughout the weekend.
“From lunch or dinner in a relaxed outdoor setting, to the heart-pumping smoke dance competition where each person in the audience is cheering on their favorite dancer. Many spectators enjoy the fine arts and crafts, while others come to spend time with historians that speak of history from our account instead of the watered down history taught in schools and universities today,” he said.
Some come to see how modern indigenous people currently live, according to Shauger.
“This event will leave you excited and in awe. Many will walk away more educated and at peace, feeling more connected to the global family,” he said. “It will be entertaining as well as educational for all ages. We offer discounted admission for those that adopt the global community mindset by bringing non- perishable food items to help fill local food pantries in King and Walnut Cove.”
Suarez said the powwow is a deeply rooted social gathering by native people.
“It is a time to honor native culture with song, dance, and time to honor our fallen warriors. While powwows are open to all and are an opportunity for all people to experience a piece of Native American culture, it is still very much, a sacred thing, that should be respected.”
The organizer added, “Misappropriation of native culture has been a regularly occurring thing in American society. While it may at times seem harmless and intentions may be pure, these actions disrespect a heritage that has seen much of their world, their history, their very lives shattered by western society.”
The Return of the King City Powwow, Redhawk’s Gathering of Nations Powwow, will be held at American Legion Post 290 on August 24 – 26. Grand Entry is Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at noon and 6:30 p.m., and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Gates open at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free for children under the age of five. Seniors and children from five to 12 is $5 and 13 – 62 is $10 ($8 with two cans foods). Veteran admission is $4. Bring in a flyer or newspaper ad and/or coupon to receive $1 off admission.
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.