March 7th, 2018 Last Updated on: March 8th, 2018
On January 27, 2018, the Haliwa-Saponi Indian tribe helped alleviate depression in their community. Considered a depression alleviator, the winter pow-wow is a coveted celebration!
For the 13th year in a row, they held their winter pow-wow, right smack dab in the middle of winter.
Why is this event so important?
Studies have shown that many Native people face depression when pow-wow season ends in November.
Most take this time to build new regalias, fans, drums, and rattles. But they still feel shut up in the house, and can’t allow the joy of dancing and singing escape without actually being around other fellow Natives. This is how the idea of the winter pow-wow began.
Now the Annual pow-wow for the Haliwa-Saponi is always the 3rd weekend in April and is the oldest and one of the largest in North Carolina, this year celebrating its 53rd year. But the winter pow-wow allows the community to come together to sing, dance, eat and exchange lovelies. We get to share beading projects, regalia ideas, new songs, and our vendors get to make a piece of money during a regular downtime. It is win-win for all involved.
The winter pow-wow is held at the Doe Spun building, which is owned by Native entrepreneur Barry Richardson’s group, Native Opportunity Way. This group was formed to help other Native businesses flourish in the community. Since its inception, Native Opportunity Way has opened an Auto/Hardware store in Essex and rented space to beauty salons, insurance agents, meat stores, and internet cafes. Currently, there is a pizza parlor that is eying a spot in the Native Opportunity Way building. The Doe Spun building is also rented to civic groups and individuals throughout the community.
During the winter pow-wow, there is singing from the tribal groups and other drums, dancing from all communities, and a Long Hair contest, which has been a great hit each year. Pork chops will be sold as a fundraiser this year to assist the annual pow-wow in April.
Make it a point to come support our winter pow-wows across Indian Country!
It’s good for your mental health.
Feature image – Max Yemane was able to join the Haliwa-Saponi during their winter pow-wow. Max drove from the DC area for the pow-wow.
Photos by Ivan Richardson
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