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


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