A lively blend of ceremonial dancing, social gathering and native artistry will be featured at the 8th Annual POW WOW April 9-11 at The University of Southern Mississippi.
Hosted by the Southern Miss Center for American Indian Research and Studies and the Golden Eagles Intertribal Society, the POW WOW includes a weekend celebration featuring a community of individuals interested in serving and preserving Native American traditions.
Nationally renowned feather dancer Michael Roberts will serve as the official Headman. Roberts performed in the opening ceremony of the 2010 Olympics in Canada, was named “Best Fancy Feather Dancer” in 2007 and received the Member’s Choice Award at PowWows.com.
“This is an opportunity to educate the general public about the varied, yet rich historical and contemporary artistry of American Indian tribes,” said Dr. Tammy Greer, director of the Center and associate professor of psychology at Southern Miss. “The POW WOW also serves as a great recruitment tool to get more American Indian students here on a visit to the university.”
A special highlight of this year’s POW WOW will be the honoring of military veterans and fallen soldiers. According to a statement issued by Department of Defense, Native Americans have historically had a higher percentage of service membership in armed services than any other ethnic group.
“There’s a huge tradition in the culture of honoring warriors, veterans and people who serve by putting themselves in harm’s way to protect others,” Greer said.
All activities will take place at the Medicine Wheel behind the Liberal Arts Building on the Hattiesburg campus.
The schedule events include the following:
Friday, April 9:
• 10 a.m. -- School Day with arts and crafts demonstrations
• 6 p.m. – Gourd Dancing (A dance to honor warriors)
• 7:30 p.m. -- Grand Entry (A colorful and ceremonial entrance into the circle to begin the evening dance)
Saturday, April 10
• Noon -- Gourd Dancing
• 7 p.m. -- Grand Entry
Sunday, April 11
• Noon – Gourd Dancing
• 1 p.m. – Grand Dancing
All active duty service members, veterans, nations, dancers, drummers and princesses are welcome to attend.
Traditional Native American dance and ceremonial activities were part of the 2009 POW WOW held at The University of Southern Mississippi (Submitted photo).
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.