By Wendy Hood, Staff Correspondent
The Turtle Island Native American Association’s 3rd Annual Pow Wow took place September 3 and 4 at Noccalula Falls in Gadsden.
Lowery Hesse, representative for the association, described the event as a multi-tribe pow wow. Members of the Cherokee, Choctaw, and Aztec Nations, along with several other tribes were present. Hesse stated that the primary goal for many tribes today is to educate children about Native American heritage.
Several Native American vendors were present with handmade jewelry, flutes, knives, wall hangings and souvenirs.
Demonstrations of flint-knapping, stone crafting and drumming were available. Children could also take part in a hands-on archery lesson as well as receive native face painting.
Multiple authors were on hand for book signings and photographs, including Cabot Barden, Dale Casteel, Butch Walker and John T. Wayne, grandson of the famous actor John Wayne.
The Grand Entry of the pow wow included a color guard and posting of the flags, following the sacred smudging with sage smoke. Veterans were honored with a flag display and special song.
Attendees were treated to the storytelling of traditional Native American legends, as well as numerous tribal dances performed with native chants and drumming.
A special appearance was made by Danza Azteca Quetzalcoatl de Memphis, otherwise known at the Aztec Dancers from Memphis, Tenn.
The Aztec Dancers appeared in full traditional regalia featuring face and body paintings and elaborate headdresses.
The Aztec Dancers will also make an appearance at the Echota Cherokee Festival in Cullman on September 24 and 25.
All proceeds from the admission fee benefited the non-profit organization of the Turtle Island Native American Association.