Religion, Traditions

Powwow theme: they walked here before us

2 Comments 06 November 2013

Native American dancer  By Mariam Baydoun

Native American dancer
By Mariam Baydoun

follow link By Mariam Baydoun
Unis Middle School

They walked here before us: that was the theme of the Woodland Indian Powwow in Perrysburg, Ohio, attended by about 120 people on September 28th. Descendants of the Woodland Indian tribe shared many interesting dances, crafts and other traditions of their culture.

A Shawnee tribe member and his wife clarified the history of their tribe. In the Native American tradition, you were not allowed to marry someone from the same clan as you. Gowamindiga (Go-wah-mindy-ga) which means ‘Owl in motion’ is the Indian name of the man who explained this. He is a part of the Bear Clan. As for his wife, Kathy, she is a part of the Eagle Clan. The written history of the Shawnee tribe began in the early 1800s. The Shawnee tribe was led at that time by a man named Tacompsee (Ta-cump-see). In the Ohio area around end of the 1700s, there was the Battle of Falling Timbers. Later, in 1812, the Native Americans were chased into Canada where the leader, Tacompsee, died and there the Shawnee tribe split.

Gowamindiga and his wife, Kathy.  By Mariam Baydoun

Gowamindiga and his wife, Kathy.
By Mariam Baydoun

Many people who live now in Ohio and Michigan came to visit this astonishing Native American get-together to experience something that is hardly familiar to people all around the world. “I am part of the Indian heritage so it’s nice getting back to my roots,” explained Judy Beal, my aunt, who has been going to the Powwow for the past 10 years. “I really enjoy going there and seeing the arts and crafts, the Indian dancing, the music, everything is very down to earth and simple.”

Woodland Indians of the past were very serious about their artwork, jewelry, clothing, and instruments. The Woodland Indians made their clothes out of animals. The Bear Clan member, Gowamindiga , wore items from a bear. Parts of his clothing were created from bear fur; his bag was made from a bear claw; and he had teeth from a bear formed into a necklace. The Woodlands also wore headbands decorated with feathers. The Woodlands decorated clothing and art with elaborate beadwork and quills.

Sandy, a helper at the Woodland Indian Powwow, has been interacting with the Powwow for around 10 years. “A friend of mine is Native and I have just become very interested in this culture,” she said while painting a child’s face. “There’s a lot to take in, and it really opened my eyes to this culture.”

Native Americans dried food for the winter By Mariam Baydoun

Native Americans dried food for the winter
By Mariam Baydoun

Colorful Native instruments By Mariam Baydoun

Colorful Native instruments
By Mariam Baydoun

Judy Beal By Mariam Baydoun

Judy Beal
By Mariam Baydoun

Your Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. April Kincaid says:

    Great Experience Mariam. Your writing may inspire others to attend an Indian Powwow. Living in Dearborn is an advantage because Greenfield Village has one every year. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Fatima Jomaa says:

    great story Mariam! i loved it keep up the amazing work! :)

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Unis Middle School

Unis School serves grades K-8 in the Dearborn Public School District. The school principal is Heyam Alcodray. These are its beliefs about education:

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