Column: Tennessee powwow a good way to learn about culture
"When I interviewed Sally Wells, a Choctaw woman who is one of the chief organizers of this weekend's Pow Wow festival, I made the inexcusable mistake of referring to her elaborate Indian dress as a "costume."

"Costumes are something you wear on Halloween," her husband, Bill, informed me. "This is the traditional dress or regalia of the Indian people."

Clearly, I have a lot to learn about Indian culture, and this weekend's Pow Wow is a great place to get educated.

The Native American Indian Association of Tennessee's 29th annual Pow Wow and Fall Festival is Friday-Sunday at Long Hunter State Park in Hermitage/Mt. Juliet, with Native-American artists, musicians, dancers, food and storytellers.

This unique, annual Indian-themed gathering started as a small Native-American picnic in 1981 at the Suggs Creek Saddle Club. These days it draws as many as 15,000 people for the weekend, and it's a grand chance to get a taste of the customs of more than a dozen American Indian tribes.

In addition to performances from more than 100 dancers in traditional dress, you'll see (and hear) both northern and southern drums and demonstrations of Indian crafts such as beading, basket making, rug weaving and painting. There will be Indian food to sample and lots of children's activities, including games, story times, music and demonstrations."

Get the Story:
Mary Hance's Ms. Cheap Column: Pow Wow festival hopes to unite, inspire (The Tennessean 10/14)