To celebrate East Tennessee’s Native American culture, the ETSU Office of Multicultural Affairs will host the second annual Native American Festival this weekend.
The festival will be held Friday, Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, in the amphitheater.
Attendees can expect to see traditional ceremonial dances, along with drumming and flute music performances and traditional storytelling.
During the entertainment, there will be several booths set up for demonstrations in shell/stone/wood carving, pottery, basket making and bead work. Other activities to watch include women’s Jingle Dress, Fancy Shawl, Buckskin, Northern Traditional and Southern Straight dances, Anakituhwa Warriors, stick ball and fire by friction.
The dances will be performed by the AniKituhwa Warriors, designated cultural ambassadors by the Tribal Council of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Another event in relation to the Native American Festival is an art exhibit at the Slocumb Galleries. “Decolonial Identity” by Cherokee artist Jeff Marley, will run through Oct. 7. A reception will be held Sept. 29 from 5-7 p.m., featuring a 6 p.m. talk and performance by Marley, at Slocumb Galleries in Ball Hall.
Upon entry to the free event, attendees will receive a flyer explaining how to respect the possibly unfamiliar culture they are about to observe.
One key rule to remember is to never refer to a Regalia dancer’s clothing as a costume. The outfits the dancers wear are handcrafted and are highly important and special to the owners. It is also important to remember not to touch the item of clothing without permission.
Walking across the dancing arena or sitting on the bales of hay bordering the dancing arena after it’s been blessed is considered extremely disrespectful.
Festival attendees are also asked not to touch any stray feathers found on the ground. If one is found, please notify the festival Master of Ceremonies immediately and do no leave the feather unattended.
At the conclusion of the event on Saturday, everyone is invited to participate in a game of stick ball.
Anyone with questions is encouraged to contact Nate Tadesse at 439-6633 or firstname.lastname@example.org.