About 30 tribal cultures pulled in for powwow

October 04, 2007|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

When he watched westerns on television, Barry Richardson, organizer of the upcoming Wakichipi Pow-Wow at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center, used to root against the Indians.

"Even though I am an Indian," said Richardson, 53, a Haliwa-Saponi Indian who lives near Raleigh, N.C. "We were always depicted as bad people. Who would want to be like that?"

Saturday and Sunday, Richardson hopes to dispel myths about American Indian culture at the powwow. Richardson takes the show of traditional dancing, singing and storytelling to cities along the East Coast.

"That's one of the reasons I started doing powwows," Richardson said. "I wanted to have a better feel for myself, and I wanted others to have a better feel for Indians."


Roughly 30 tribal groups, including Aztec and Haliwa-Saponi, will be represented at the powwow. The dancers will likely perform social dances, as ceremonial dances aren't done in front of public audiences, Richardson said. Attendees are invited to participate in the show.

In addition to the dancing and singing, there will be craft demonstrations, storytelling, American Indian food and, for children, face painting and pony rides.

The powwow was last in the area in 2005. Richardson said unlike past powwows in the area, this one will be more traditional and won't be set up as a contest.

"It will be more informational," Richardson said. "People can get more out of it."

If you go

WHAT: Wakichipi Pow-Wow

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, and Sunday, Oct. 7. Rain or shine.

WHERE: Washington County Agricultural Education Center, 7313 Sharpsburg Pike, north of Sharpsburg.

COST: Adult admission costs $7; $5 for children

MORE: For more information, contact Richardson by calling 252-523-0821, or e-mail To find out about upcoming powwows in the area go to

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