Troy University will host a two-day event on Friday and Saturday where student and community members can witness a Native American ceremony and learn about the culture.
The Ma-Chis, an Indian Lower Creek Tribe of Alabama, are having a Pow Wow exhibiting Ma-Chis culture through ceremonies, authentic crafts and traditional dancing.
The event is open to the community, families and local schools. Those in attendance will experience singing and music, native food and Indian vendors showcasing the Ma-Chis folklore.
According to machistribe.net, the Ma-Chis are remnants of what is known to European Explorers as the “Creek Confederacy” located in present day southeastern United States.
At the event, the Ma-Chis will be performing their sacred Grand Entry Ceremony, which will begin the Pow Wow. This ceremony is a time for the Ma-Chis to reflect on the tribe’s history and traditions. During the ceremony, the participants wear colorful regalia (the traditional uniform of the ceremony) and perform cultural songs and dances.
“It is a spectacular sight filled with beauty, excitement, and pride,”said Vice Chief Nancy Carnley.
The regalia exhibits the type of dance and typically includes flashy or colorful attire with ornamentation depending on what the dance represents.
Guests can expect to view several types of Native American dances, each associated with a specific Ma-Chis tradition and meaning, according to Carnley.
The Pow Wow serves as a unique chance for students to learn from and connect with Native Americans.
“For many of our students, this opportunity may not present itself again,”said Herbert Reeves, dean of student services and coordinator for the event. “This event is one that provides our students an opportunity to learn through means other than the classroom.”
The Ma-Chis Pow Wow embraces the diversity of Troy University’s campus and provides a cultural and learning experience for all students.
“It is also an opportunity to expose our international students to early Americans and the culture and traditions from the Native Americans,”said Reeves
Pow Wow etiquette is required at the event, according to Chief James Wright of Elba. Photos should not be taken without permission nor should people or regalia be touched without asking first. Clothing worn by participants is called “regalia”not a “costume.”There is a specific protocol for the Grand Entry and it is a sacred ceremony. Guests and visitors are asked to please be respectful. Drums and instruments have special rules and should not be touched or played by anyone other than the drum group. No one should crawl under or go through the rope to enter the arena.
Friday, Oct. 17, the festivities will begin at 9 a.m. at the practice fields behind Troy University’s Trojan Arena. Friday is a designated School Day allowing area schools to participate by “Honoring our Heritage”however, anyone is welcome to attend.
Saturday, Oct. 18, the event will continue with open admission to the general public with the Grand Entry Ceremony starting at 12 p.m. The Grand Entry Ceremony is reserved for dancers and veterans but anyone can come and go as they please throughout the event.