Dancing is the tradition at Nause-Waiwash Powwow

 
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VIENNA – The Nause-Waiwash tribe held their 22nd annual Native American Festival here on September 13-14. The inter-tribal event drew Native Americans from an estimated 40 different tribes, and turned the Vienna ball field into a celebration of ancient traditions.
The Nause-Waiwash are the remnants of Nanticoke, Choptank and Pocomoke tribes who fled downriver into the low marsh areas in the 1700s. The fascinating history of the original Nause-Waiwash proclaims that they are a people who originated in the Himalayas and over generations of time crossed the continent of Asia to the Bering Sea, then to the Pacific Northwest.
The Nause-Waiwash claim origination of many other tribes, as some of their people stayed along the way; the Blackfeet Nation in northern Montana is one example.  They traveled as far as New Jersey, until fighting with the Iroquois forced them out onto the Delmarva Peninsula. In present days, there are approximately 300 people enrolled in the Nause-Waiwash tribe
Chief Sewell Edward Winter hawk Fitzhugh is the leader of the Nause-Waiwash, and was busily coordinating the events at the festival, or Powwow, as many called it. “This is the only event we hold for the public, the rest are for tribal members only. The Chief said the event is a fund raiser to pay for restoration of tribe buildings, such as the Native American Long House on the corner of Greenbrier and Maple Dam Roads, and others. “We’re hoping the rain holds off!”
Along with many booths offering Indian-related items and native food, dancing was the main attraction at the powwow.
“For myself and a lot of dancers,” said Two Bears, who traveled from Charlottesville, VA., “we love to dance. We all love to express our culture. We also like to communicate with people around us so they understand who we are as people, no matter what tribe or nation we come from.”
Visitors could view the dancing each day, with a grand entry at noon each day, and a variety of dances from individual tribes or inter-tribal dancing when all tribes danced together.
“To us it also means being back with our community, our family, to be back with friends,” said Two Bears. “To learn about dancing, to learn about someone else’s culture. It’s to be really involved; it gives us an opportunity to practice our traditions and our ways.”
Anyone interested in the Nause-Waiwash and their efforts to restore and maintain their traditional buildings in Dorchester County are invited to contact the tribal office at 410-376-3889.

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Paul Clipper is the editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at pclipper@newszap.com.

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