Pounding drums, colorful dancers and songs generations old, the Santa Rosa County Creek Tribe wows with their annual Pow Wow.
Part family reunion, part cultural exploration, part history lesson and part festival, the 28th Pow Wow did not disappoint. Just north of Navarre Beach, this annual celebration of our local Native American culture is always a favorite among visitors.
For Chief Tom “Blue Eyes” Nichols, this is a time when eight generations of his family are represented in one place.
“It is like a big family get-together. Really it is a celebration. We celebrate National Native American month with a big family reunion, and we invite the public to witness our culture, our heritage and our language,” he said.
There were dozens of booths selling Native American inspired items, typically handmade by members of the tribe or neighboring tribes.
Traditional foods such as roasted corn and Indian fry bread were also served. You have to try the bread. It’s delicious.
At the center of the festivities was traditional dancing where visitors could become part of the celebration. “Drumming of the Descendants” featured drummers playing traditional music with a pounding beat. Native American singers from throughout the U.S. also provided their talents to the event.
The festival is not only fun. It is about “keeping the fire” of the Creek tradition. By next year the tribe hopes to have their cultural center open where visitors will be able to view more than 3,000 Native American artifacts including 1,500-year-old pottery.
They will also be teaching the Muscogee language, a rarity in modern times. I never leave a tribe event without feeling more connected to the past and richer for the experience. In exploring ancient cultures, we gain knowledge beyond our own world view, peeking into the past while also gaining insight into the modern lives of our neighbors.
The Pow Wow offers this each year.
Did you miss this year’s Pow Wow? Plan a vacay for next year here on beautiful Navarre Beach at navarrelistings.com.