Nanticoke celebrates 40th annual Powwow

The Nanticoke Indian Powwow has been called a homecoming, creating a sense of pride in the Nanticoke tribe.  This year marked its 40th annual event with an expected attendance of over 15,000 in Millsboro.

For Kayleigh Vickers, an event organizer, the weekend has been a fixture in her life since she was a toddler, saying she was learning the tribe's dances at a month old.

"It's a big family reunion to me.  It's an amazing experience, it's like Christmas time all over.  Every year we know it's Labor Day weekend it's Powwow, Powwow time is here."

Thousands sit and watch dance performances, while the MC educates the crowd on the meaning behind each individual dance.

The crowd also learns about how to gift, smudging and tobacco.  Something CJ Jackson, a Nanticoke member says is important to keep the heritage alive.

"You take a lot of pride in it because as you get older history starts to get lost so it's your part as young people to keep it moving forward.  You have your grandparents, they won't be around forever, so you try to take what you can from them, learn and try to apply it to your children and just try to keep that tradition alive."

Jackson believes it is up to the youth to listen to their elders, to carry on traditions and keep the culture alive, such as knowing how to speak their language the way it was originally spoken.

"I think important to know your culture, know where your people came from and continue to move forward with that too.  Once it's lost, it's lost."

If you are interested in attending this weekend, the Powwow will be ongoing through Sunday at 6 p.m.

Categories: Delaware, Local News