Now in its eighth year, the American Indian Festival continued to flourish on March 1 – 2 at MTSU’s Tennessee Livestock Center.
Ten drum groups participated and Native American dancers performed several dances. This writer enjoyed the dancers’ elaborate outfits, with their many feathers, colors and beads. The dancers moved in a coordinated line for a while, but then as the music and drums picked up, they seemed to do individual dances of their very own.
“The dances are done for celebration and also for prayer, depending on what kind of dance they do,” said Red Kirby, who has been dancing for 12 years.
Native American Scott Bringsplenty said he and his family have danced in powwows and festivals for generations, because it’s a cultural way to express themselves.
Festivalgoers could view work from renowned artists of many tribes, watch people play drums and build tepees and enjoy both “regular food” and many different types of Native American food, too, for the more adventurous.
This year, the festival drew visitors from 21 states and Canada, said Georgia Dennis, festival coordinator.
“School Day (on Feb. 29) was great; there were schools from 10 different counties,” said Dennis, regarding the day reserved for area grade-schoolers.
Those who want to mark their calendars for next year can plan to “shake their feathers” March 6-8, 2009.
For more information, visit mtsu.edu/powwow.