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Hear drumbeat of culture

The Mother's Day Native American Pow Wow is a mixture of music and fun.

By BARBARA L. FREDRICKSEN
Published May 11, 2007


The woods around Withlacoochee River Park east of Dade City will pulse and pound with the sound of drums and chants today through Sunday as the 16th annual Mother's Day Native American Pow Wow convenes.

The colorful event is a mix of entertainment and education, with American Indian musicians, artists, craftmakers, storytellers, dancers and riders on horseback displaying their talents and expertise.

Highlights are the four Grand Entries, when American Indians from several nations and tribes dance and ride into the performance ring in their finest regalia. The entries are at 7 p.m. today, 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday.

The 1998 and 1999 state champion West Wind Riders, a horse and rider drill team, will perform at 11:15 a.m. today and at noon and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The Oklahoma drum and singing group Otto Mahsetky and the Lords of the Plains will perform throughout the pow wow. Head Lady is Debbie Deputy, arena director is John "Aripeka" Jones and master of ceremonies is Bill Armstrong.

Well-known cook Bill Herndon will open his Grill on Wheels to serve Indian fry bread, Indian tacos, barbecue, corn on the cob and baked potatoes.

Of special interest is Teursi the Story Teller, who recently published a book of Indian stories and legends, Unto Our Elders, which he will sell and autograph during the event.

Artist Rex Begaye, who is Dine' (Navaho), will exhibit and sell paintings he says were inspired by Mother Earth and Father Sky as he walked through canyons once inhabited by the Anasazi. He and his companion, Barbara, will play flute and sing.

A contingent from the Aztec of Mexico City will dance and talk about their ancestors' way of life. Custom leather apparel maker Leather Betty will show and sell the kinds of clothes she has made for singer Charlie Daniels, actors Burt Reynolds and Jane Powell, and the Florida State University Seminole mascot.

The New World Celts, whose bagpipes and highland fling dancing come from the Scottish traders who married Native Americans, will perform. For those interested in genealogy, the group is bringing books listing the names of several of the original Scotsmen.

The pow wow is co-sponsored by the Sumter Native American Family Tribe Inc. and Pasco County Parks and Recreation Department.

A special auction of items donated by the traders at the pow wow will be held at 10:15 p.m. Saturday to benefit the park and raise seed money for next year's pow wow, said Mittie Wood, one of the event's coordinators.

IF YOU GO

Pow wow opens

What: 16th annual Mother's Day Native American Pow Wow.

Where: Withlacoochee River Park, 12449 Withlacoochee Blvd., Dade City. East on River Road off U.S. 301 (Old Lakeland Highway), then south on Auton Road to Withlacoochee Boulevard, which ends at the park.

When: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and Saturday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets: $2 for ages 13 and older; free for ages 12 and younger. Seating not provided. Take lawn chairs.

Note: All pets must be on a leash held by the owner. Wolf hybrids must have papers to enter the grounds.