24th annual Native American Culture Festival


 

Saturday and Sunday, May 31 and June 1 

 Danny Bigay

Commemorating 175 years of The Cherokee Trail of Tears

 

 Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area is proud to announce our annual Native American Festival to be held Saturday, and Sunday, May 31, and June 1, 2014.  This educational eventprovides the opportunity for our visitors to experience many facets of Native American culture, particularly that of the Cherokee.    The event opens on Saturday, May 31st, running from 10 am until 8:00 pm; and from 11 am until 4 pm on Sunday.   Most activities are held at Fort Watauga, unless it rains. In the event of rain the show will relocate to the Visitors Center.   The Saturday evening program will be held in the amphitheater behind Fort Watauga.

This weekend long festival will feature traditional and contemporary arts and crafts, traditional Native American song and dance, Cherokee storytelling and legends, Native American flute, Cherokee language workshops, and craft demonstrations and sales.

 A unique feature of the Native American Culture festival is our educational/demonstration area, located within Fort Watauga.  The dance circle is located in the center of the fort, where the popular traditional dance and drum performances take place.  In addition, flute music, storytelling, lectures, and so much more take place within the circle, which share native culture and history with our visitors

The interior of the fort will also host a variety of excellent demonstrations, which include a children’s blowgun challenge, beadwork, gourd art, pine needle basketry, stone carving, Cherokee language, wood carving, flint-knapping, corn shuck dolls , native river cane flutes, pottery, and a replicated Cherokee cabin from the early 19th century with historical reenactors, Mark and Sherry Finchum.

Just outside the fort, exceptional Native American arts and crafts will be featured, in addition to ethnic Cherokee food, and a Lakota Tipi exhibit. 

In our annual tradition, the circle will host several performances of Native American music, drum, and dance. The dancing demonstrations will include the Fancy Dance and Hoop Dance, the Jingle Dance, the Men’s Traditional, Grass and Straight Dances, and many more. All are invited to dance, so bring your regalia. Newly added will be a demonstration of 18th century Cherokee social dancing. The host of this portion of the event, Dale Cloer, makes his home in Cherokee, North Carolina. 

Our featured Cherokee dancers are internationally known hoop dancer Eddie Swimmer, and champion powwow dancer Nikki Crisp! Eddie Swimmer has captivated audiences across the globe using between 36 and 42 hoops.  His accomplishments include a former World Champion Hoop Dancer title, performances in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City and in the World Cup Soccer Tournament in Dallas Texas as well as choreographing the Broadway show hoop dance for ANNIE GET YOUR GUN. Nikki Crisp as danced across the world as well, and has been performing for over 20 years. Her talents also include traditional beadwork and authentic frybread cooking. Nikki Crisp will be providing food vending for this event, including her famous Indian tacos. 

Our 2014 featured Cherokee artist is Lloyd Carl Owle, of Cherokee, NC, who will be demonstrating the carving of Cherokee stone pipes and other stone carvings. Mr. Owle is a member of the Eastern Band of The Cherokee Indians and has a deep love for the Cherokee cultural traditions which are interpreted through his work. Lloyd’s sculptures can be found throughout the world in private collections and major museums. 

Our 2014 featured storyteller is Freeman Owle. He is a noted lecturer, historian, and member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, and has traveled all over the eastern United States lecturing to various groups, which include churches, military units, and schools.   Freeman Owle has told stories and presented programs on Cherokee history and culture throughout the Southeast for more than ten years. 

Well known in the Cherokee community, Freeman Owle serves on the board of directors of the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual and is a coordinator for the Cherokee Heritage Trails project of the Blue Ridge Heritage Initiative. He is one of the featured storytellers in the book Living Stories of the Cherokee, and he also appears in the video documentary Cherokee: The Principal People, which aired on public television in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Kentucky. 

At 6:30 pm on Saturday evening, in the amphitheater behind Fort Watauga, he will be hosting a traditional evening campfire. Freeman will be sharing unique Cherokee tales and stories the whole family will enjoy. 

Our 2014 featured speaker is Dr. Michael Abram of the Cherokee Heritage Museum and Gallery in Cherokee, NC, who will provide a glimpse into Cherokee history and legend. He will give two lectures on Saturday,“The Role of Games in the Cherokee Culture”, and “Traditional Cherokee Dance,” inside the circle of Fort Watauga.

Dr. Abram  has been presenting at this show since its beginning and is owner of the Cherokee Heritage Museum and Gallery. The gallery is presently being relocated from Cherokee to a location near Chattanooga.  Dr. Abram has devoted his life to studying, preserving, and lecturing on Cherokee culture. 

Daniel Bigay of Greeneville, TN will entertain with traditional flute musicin addition to having his handmade, traditional Cherokee style flutes for sale. Daniel is a flute maker, Artist, Performer/Recording Artist, and demonstrator, who lives with his wife, Kay, in the mountains of Tennessee.  He has released two CD’s, the most recent being nominated for best flute recording at the 2005 Indian Summer Music Awards.  Daniel and Kay are passionate about education and sharing of the Cherokee culture in the school system, at Pow-Wow’s, and various shows and festivals.  

A limited number of our full color promotional posters will be available for sale during the weekend.  This is the 4th year that these collectors editions will be available.  Each year Vicki Shell designs these stunning posters for the Native American Festival.  Vicki is a partner in the firm, Osborne, Shell and Miller Advertising, Johnson City,Tennessee.   www.osm-adv.com 

Admission is $4.00 per adult, $1.00 for children. All proceeds from admissions go to Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, to support this event. This event is made possible by the support of Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, Vicki Shell, the DoubleTree by Hilton, and the Comfort Inn of Johnson City. 

Schedule of Events

Saturday, May 31     10 am – 8 pm 

10:15 am – 10:30 am     Native American Flute                     Daniel Bigay 

10:30 am – 11:00 pm      “The Role of Games in the Cherokee Culture”,

Dr. Michael Abram – Cherokee Heritage Museum and Gallery,   Cherokee, North Carolina      

11:00 am – 11:30 pm   Cherokee Storytelling                       Freeman Owle 

11:30 am – 12:00 pm     “Are you Smarter than a …”          Mark and Sherry Finchum 

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm       Cherokee Dance & Drum Demonstrations

                                       Blowgun Demonstration

                                       Dale Cloer and Mossy Creek 

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm         Cherokee Language Workshop – (In the Visitors Center Theater)

                                       Freeman Owle 

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm         Native American Flute                     Daniel Bigay 

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm         “Traditional Cherokee Dance”

Dr. Michael Abram – Cherokee Heritage Museum and Gallery      

3:00 pm – 3:30 pm         Cherokee Storytelling                     Freeman Owle 

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm         “Are you Smarter than a …”         Mark and Sherry Finchum                        

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm  –      Native American Dance & Drum Demonstration

                                      Blowgun Demonstration

                                      Dale Cloer and Mossy Creek      

 

  In the Amphitheater through the Back Gate of the Fort: 

6:30 pm                        Traditional Evening Campfire

                                    Freeman Owle  

 Sunday, June 1      11 am – 4 pm 

 11:15 pm– 11:45 pm     Native American Flute                    Daniel Bigay

11:45 pm – 12:30 pm     Cherokee Storytelling                    Freeman Owle 

12:30pm – 1:00 pm        “The Role of Games in the Cherokee Culture”

Dr. Michael Abram – Cherokee Heritage Museum and Gallery,  Cherokee, North Carolina       

1:00 pm – 1:30 pm         Cherokee Language Workshop – (In the Visitors Center Theater)

                                       Freeman Owle 

1:00 pm – 1:30 pm         “Are you Smarter than a …”          Mark and Sherry Finchum 

1:30 pm – 2:00 pm         Native American Flute                     Daniel Bigay 

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm         Cherokee Dance & Drum Demonstrations

                                       Blowgun Demonstration

                                      Dale Cloer and Mossy Creek

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

vOur 2014 featured artist is Lloyd Carl Owle!

vOur featured dancers are internationally known hoop dancer Eddie Swimmer, and champion powwow dancer Nikki Crisp!

vOur featured storyteller is Freeman Owle!

vOur featured speaker is Dr. Michael Abram!

vOur featured musician is Daniel Bigay!

vSpecial thanks to Dale Cloer, Vicki Shell, and Mark and Sherry Finchum

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The interior of the fort will also host a variety of excellent demonstrations, which include a children’s blowgun challenge, beadwork, gourd art, pine needle basketry, stone carving, Cherokee language, wood carving, flint-knapping, corn shuck dolls , native river cane flutes, pottery, and a replicated Cherokee cabin from the early 19th century with historical reenactors, Mark and Sherry Finchum. 

Just outside the fort, exceptional Native American arts and crafts will be featured, in addition to ethnic Cherokee food, and a Lakota Tipi exhibit. 

A limited number of our full color promotional posters will be available for sale during the weekend. This is the 5th year that these collectors’ editions will be available at $5.00 each.   Please visit the ticket booth if you would like to purchase one. 

Admission is $4.00 per adult, $1.00 for children. All proceeds from admissions go to Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, to support this event. This event is made possible by the support of Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, Vicki Shell, the DoubleTree by Hilton, and the Comfort Inn of Johnson City. 

For information contact 

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area    1651 W. Elk Avenue       Elizabethton, TN  37643

(423) 543‑5808.

 

 

 

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2 Responses to 24th annual Native American Culture Festival

  1. The family and I had a great time at the Native American Festival. Can’t wait to come back next year!

  2. Thank you Darla! So glad you enjoyed the weekend.

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