COLDWATER – Audiences will learn and experience the Native American culture through a narrated exhibition of drums, dance and cultural introduction when the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi present a Pow Wow Exhibition at Tibbits Opera House Oct 8 at 7 pm.
Part of the county-wide Cultivating Community event schedule, the drum group will present a Great Lakes Northern style of singing. They are Potawatomi Anishinaabe, formally one of the Three Fires people. The nations of the Three Fires are Potawatomi, Ojibway, and Ottawa. The event will include invited dancers and singers, along with artwork, Native American made crafts, and apparel vendors.
The exhibition is a formal celebration of the Native American culture with revitalization of singing, dancing and storytelling of the ancestors. The Drum is the heartbeat of Mother Earth. The ancestors of the Native Americans danced for hunting, for battle, for love. They danced for the spirit of all living things. The indigenous people honor their ancestors in a celebration through Pow Wows. It is a time for happiness and healing. It is a time for family. Pow Wows are honored through the songs and dance styles and a show of respect of others.
There were policies to ban native American culture and lifeways; the Indian Removal Act signed by President Andrew Jackson in 1830 forced Native Americans from their homelands to reservations west of the Mississippi River. It started the assimilation of Native Americans, removing children to industrial boarding schools, and stripping from them their culture and language. Colonized and forced to read and write English, they lost their heritage, language and the celebrations of their ancestors. Pow Wows were illegal. It wasn’t until 1978 that the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 (AIRFA) protected the rights of Native Americans to exercise their traditional religions, ensuring access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonials and traditional rites.
Pow Wows are always an honor, a way to revitalize the celebration of Native American culture. Come learn and celebrate the meaning behind the different dances, the prayers they represent, hear the singing of beautiful songs and what they represent. All are welcome to join in healing of the nation.
This event is made possible through grant funding from the Michigan Arts & Culture Council as well as the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding for Cultivating Community has also been provided by Women Who Care of Branch County.
Tickets are $10 and are available at Tibbits.org, by calling 517-278-6029 or stopping at the Tibbits office at 93 W. Chicago St. The performance is held at the beautiful historic Tibbits Opera House, 14 S. Hanchett Street, in Coldwater. It begins at 7pm; doors open for seating at 6:30 pm.
To add to the Tibbits experience, Tibbits art gallery is open before the show and at intermission. Patrons are also invited to view current “America the Beautiful” art gallery exhibit or the historic exhibit displays throughout the theatre.