News Staff Report
Poarch Band of Creek Indians will present the 48th annual Thanksgiving Pow Wow, an event designed to “capture the spirit of generations and celebrate the joy of life,” this Thursday and Friday (November 22-23).
Gates will open at 10 a.m. both days, and visitors will be treated to dance exhibitions by members of the local tribe and several other tribes from within Alabama and elsewhere, each wearing authentic Indian dress.
Other Pow Wow highlights include storytelling, dance and drum competitions, and the crowning of this year’s Poarch Creek Indian princesses. There will be barbecue and roasted corn cooked in open pit grills, as well as traditional Thanksgiving and other food sold and served by various churches. Native arts and crafts will also be on display and available for purchase.
The ancestral dance exhibitions will be conducted on The Mound on Thursday and Friday, from 10 a.m. until each day’s Grand Entry, which takes place at 1 p.m. on Thursday and 12 p.m. (noon) on Friday.
The dance and drum competitions, for which roughly $90,000 in prize money will be awarded, will be held throughout the day on Friday. There will be four age divisions, with a male and female subdivision in each.
The princess contest will take place at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, with girls and women from PCI vying for titles in five age-based categories: Elder, Senior, Junior, Elementary and Little Miss.
The annual Thanksgiving Pow Wow evolved out of a “tribal homecoming” that was established in 1971 and was extended to two days in the 1980s. It now includes members of more than a dozen tribes from throughout the Southeast and from as far away as Oklahoma.
The Poarch tribe, the only federally recognized Indian tribe in Alabama, still inhabits land on which its members have lived for nearly two centuries, located eight miles northwest of Atmore, just off Jack Springs Road.
General admission tickets are $5 per person for those 11 years of age and older. Those 10 years old and younger will be admitted free of charge.