Sunday, September 6, 2009


It was a beautiful, warm, sunny, Saturday morning, this last summer. I called the Editor of the Feather News and said, "Let's go to the Narragansett Pow Wow." He agreed. So off we went to Charlestown, Rhode Island, about a one (1) hour drive from Uncasville, Connecticut.

We knew that the Pow Wow was at the Old Indian Church, in Charlestown, Rhode Island. We couldn't find it, so we stopped and asked directions. We end up parking at the Narragansett Tribes' Community Center. There was a long line for the ten (10) passenger vans to take people to the pow wow.

We decided to walk to the Pow Wow, I mean how far could it be? We walk down a narrow paved road. As we walked down the road, beautiful trees (woods) surrounded us. About a half mile down the road, we meet up with a pow wow volunteer, who told us to walk down this dirt road to the pow wow. Off we go down the dirt road continuing to be enveloped by the forest. About a mile down the road we make it to the pow wow.

The tribe was in their regalia waiting to march in for the Grand Entry. We paid the $5.00 entrance fee. We gladly paid, because we wanted to help the Narragansett Tribe.

There sitting on top of a stone wall was our friend, Charlene Harris, who was there to take pictures of the event for the Narragansetts. She is a very accomplished, professional photographer.

Behind the stone wall was the pow wow. In front of us stood the arbor, under which sat the drummers, and Narragansett Elders and other tribal members. A large clearing in a forest. Around the circle where the dancing took place, were white tents where the vendors were selling their wares and food.

There on the side of the dirt road was the Old Indian Church. It is a beautiful old quaint field stone building. If you didn't know it was there you could never find it. It is a wonderful historical and spiritual place. If you go and see it, you will love it. Behind the church is a burial ground. It was humbling to walk amongst the grave markers. It seemed like the departed were one with Mother Earth. A good place to be.

The Tribe marched into the center of the circle to start the activities (Grand Entry). One of the best parts, was watching the Medicine man and his assistant John Brown, blessing the circle where the dancing was going to take place. This took place after John Brown had started the Sacred Fire. The various Narragansett officials, partook in a smudge. It was quite moving.

One Narragansett Elder sang a welcome song and beat a small drum. He did a terrific job. The dancing and drumming were terrific. The food and the company were terrific. The visitors of the Pow Wow enjoyed themselves. I believe the visitors went away more knowledgable and understanding of the Culture of Native Americans.

I wondered, how come it doesn't feel like this at the Mohegan Wigwam? Maybe it is the simple things. One person said, "Ours is Commercial." Maybe she was right. Do we (the Mohegan Tribe) need to get back to our roots, back to what is truly important?

As we drove away, I thought it was a great day for the Narragansett Tribe, and a great day for three Mohegans who went to the Pow Wow. The Narragansetts did all Native Americans proud. Good Job.

If next year you get the opportunity, go and enjoy the Pow Wow. What do you think?

these are the opinions of brokenwing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well written documentation of the value of kinship in Native American Society, in telling, such a bond is built with good intent. On that account, tranquility did and will, prevail. ~charlene e. harris