Monthly Archives: May 2013

Native American Culture Festival

Men's dance 

Scheduled for next weekend!  Saturday, June 1 from 10 am to 8 pm  and Sunday, June 2nd from 11 am – 4 pm

Our annual Native American Culture Festival celebrates its 23rd year at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area.  We are honored to commemorate during this years event,  the Trail of Tears, 1838.

The weekend features traditional and contemporary arts and crafts, Native American song and dance, Cherokee storytelling and legends, Native American flute, Cherokee language workshops, and crafts demonstrations and sales.

Our 2013 featured Cherokee artist is Freeman Owle of Cherokee, North Carolina.  Freeman is a master stone carver and will be demonstrating throughout the weekend.  In addition, he will be sharing Cherokee stories in the circle and presenting a Cherokee language workshop on Saturday and Sunday.

Freeman is a noted lecturer, historian, and member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee.   He 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.

Our Schedule for the Weekend

Saturday, June 1      10 am – 8 pm 

10:30 am – 11:00 am    

Native American Flute-  Daniel Bigay – Greenville, Tennessee 


11:00 am – 11:30 pm     

Cherokee Beliefs about the Panther

Dr. Michael Abram – Cherokee Heritage Museum and Gallery 

11:30 am – 12:00 pm   

Cherokee Storytelling –        Freeman Owle 

Freeman Owle75

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm     

Cherokee Dance & Drum Demonstrations

Blowgun Demonstration

Dale Cloer and Mossy Creek – Cherokee, North Carolina

Lowery Begay – Navajo Hoop Dancer 

Lowery 298 x 568

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm       

Cherokee Language Workshop – (In the Visitors Center Theater) –      Freeman Owle

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm       

Cherokee Legends –    George Martin

3:00 pm – 3:30 pm       

Origin, Role, and Importance of the Pine Tree in Cherokee Culture –  Dr. Michael Abram

3:30 pm –4:00 pm         

Native American Flute –

Lowery Begay                                                               

4:00 pm – 4:30 pm        

Cherokee Storytelling –       Freeman Owle

4:30 pm – 6:00 pm  –     

Native American Dance & Drum Demonstration

Blowgun Demonstration

  Dale Cloer and Mossy Creek   

   Lowery Begay – Navajo Hoop Dancer

In the Theater in the Visitors Center:                          

 6:30 pm                      

Cherokee Children- Games, Raising, and Behavior –  

Dr. Michael Abram


Sunday, June 2 – 11 am – 4 pm   

11:30 pm– 12:00 pm     

Native American Flute         Daniel Bigay

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm               

Cherokee Storytelling           Freeman Owle

12:30pm – 1:00 pm      

Cherokee Beliefs about the Panther

Dr. Michael Abram

1:00 pm – 1:30 pm         

Cherokee Language Workshop – (In the Visitors Center Theater) –    Freeman Owle

1:30 pm – 2:00 pm       

Cherokee Legends –      George Martin

2:30 pm – 4:00 pm       

Cherokee Dance & Drum Demonstrations

 Blowgun Demonstration

Dale Cloer and Mossy Creek– Cherokee, North Carolina

Lowery Begay – Navajo Hoop Dancer

The interior of the fort will also host a variety of excellent demonstrations, which include beadwork, pine needle basketry, Cherokee language, wood carving, flint-knapping, atlatl (primitive spear throwing), corn shuck dolls, gourd art, stone carving, native river cane flutes, an 18th century canoe camp, blowgun, toy making, finger weaving, the evolution of beads, arrow making, pottery, and 18th century life skills. 

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 4th year that these collectors’ editions will be available at $5.00 each.   Please visit the gift shop 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, the Travelers Inn of Elizabethton, and Vicki Shell.

For information contact 

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area in Elizabethton 

(423) 543‑5808.

1651 W. Elk Avenue       Elizabethton, TN  37643


Siege of Fort Watauga!

Saturday and Sunday, May 18 & 19

Protecting the fort 358 x 230

It is the Summer of 1776.  As Patriot leaders meet in Philadelphia to draft a document of Freedom; those on the Frontier are fighting for it. Settlers strive to Hold the land while Native Cherokee Struggle to Preserve Their way of Life.

 On Saturday, May 18th and Sunday, May 19th, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area will host 150 living history re-enactors for the annual Siege of Fort Watauga. Colonial, British, and Native re-enactors will converge at the re-created Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals to relive the days when America’s first frontier was the land beyond the blue ridge.

 The Siege of Fort Watauga is a live retelling of the Cherokee attack brought on the settlers of the Watauga valley in the summer of 1776. At Sycamore Shoals, Fort Watauga offered protection to nearly 200 settlers during a two-week siege led by Cherokee War Chief, Old Abram, and 300 warriors.

The event lasts from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday, May 18th and 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on Sunday, May 19th. Step back in time as you visit the fort, militia camps, British encampment, and Native camp. Be immersed in 18th century frontier life as you witness daily aspects of colonial culture. Take advantage of colonial merchants selling period wares in “Sutler’s Row”. See the clash of two cultures as the attack on fort Watauga is recreated both days at 1:00 pm. Also, attend our auction of 18th century reproductions.

ahc_canister[1]269x353We are excited to announce that during the Siege, representatives from the Historic Division of MARS/American Heritage Chocolate will be with us to demonstrate the making of chocolate along with sharing the many unique stories of chocolate during the 18th century. 


They will also offer the opportunity to sample their historic recipes & purchase chocolate in blocks, sticks, and drink mix!

Bring the entire family and see how your ancestors played a crucial role in our region’s history and in the formation of our nation. Hear the rattle of muskets, smell the campfire smoke, and see the 18th century come to life at the Siege of Fort Watauga. This event is sponsored by The Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia and The Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area.

Fife and Drum3 358 x 269

Our Schedule of Events

O N G O I N G   A C T I V I T I E S :

Cherokee Weapons Display, Corn Shuck Dolls, Flint & Steel Fire Starting, Lead & Pewter Casting, 18th Century Surveying, Tavern Keeping, Wool Processing, Leather Work, Colonial Women’s Clothing, 18th Century Stays Making, Hand Sewing, Knitting, Flax Processing, Colonial Music, Storytelling, Open Hearth Cooking, Flintlock Firearms Demonstrations, And Many More Aspects of 18th Century Life!

 S A T U R D A Y,  M A Y  18th

10:00   Camps Open.

10:30   Raising the Colors & Militia Inspection (Fort Watauga)

11:00   Kids Militia Drill (Talbot’s Meadow – in front of Fort Watauga)

11:30   “Cherokee Weapons and War” (Native Camp)

Cherokee at the fence 358 x 2691:00     Battle Reenactment: “Siege of Fort Watauga” – All visitors must move behind the viewing line 20 minutes prior to battle start time.




2:00     “Recruitment of Children into His Majesty’s Service” (British Camp)

2:30     Field Musick by the Watauga Valley Fifes & Drums (Fort Watauga)

3:00     Auction (Fort Watauga)

5:00     Camps Close. Please join us tomorrow for another exciting day of living history!

 S U N D A Y,  M A Y  19th

10:00   Camps Open.

10:00   Worship Service (Fort Watauga)

11:00   Militia Inspection (Fort Watauga)

11:30   “Cherokee Weapons and War” (Native Camp)

1:00     Battle Reenactment: “Siege of Fort Watauga” – All visitors must move behind the viewing line 20 minutes prior to battle start time.

2:00     Ladies Social & Tea (Fort Watauga)

3:00     Retiring the Colors (Fort Watauga) Event Closed. Thank you for coming!

For additional Information:  423-543-5808

Fending attack   269 x 358

Spinning and Fiber Meet this Saturday!

Join the Liberty Spinners on Saturday, May 4th from 9 am – 4 pm!  They have planned an exciting day of ‘all things fibers’ which include workshops, great vendors, and demonstrations of the fiber arts.

This is a great opportunity to meet other folks who LOVE spinning, weaving, felting, rug hooking, and the many related arts and crafts.  

Information?  Please call the park at 423-543-5808!