Petal hosts Pow Wow for first time

Dancers prepare for the "Grand Entry" at the 12th Golden Eagle Pow Wow Saturday.
Dancers prepare for the "Grand Entry" at the 12th Golden Eagle Pow Wow Saturday.

PETAL, MS (WDAM) - Members of nearly one dozen Native-American tribes from six Southeastern states are showcasing American-Indian culture for the first time in the Friendly City this weekend.  Members of the Choctaw, Creek, Cherokee and other tribes are taking part in the 12th annual Golden Eagle Pow Wow.

Usually, the event is held on the Southern Miss campus, but this year, organizers moved it to Petal's Hinton Park, because they needed a larger area for dancing and children's activities.

The Pow Wow is an opportunity for non-native and American Indian cultures to learn from one another.  It featured many types of dancing and also focused on Native-American craft-making.

"Pow wows are a great opportunity to socialize," said Sonya Smith, who is both Cherokee and Choctaw and is from the Old Willstown community in Alabama. "It's not just something that one tribe does, it's something that we all do," she said.

"I do want to come to (Southern Miss) and I do plan to come here for my major, criminal justice," said Lanena John, who's the 2013-14 Choctaw Indian Princess for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. "It is an honor to be here at the pow wow and great to see many different tribes here," she said.

"We have a great turnout, not only from the participants, but the crowd, the people of Petal and the surrounding area have come out to support this and learn about the Indian culture," said Barry Hardin of Slidell, La. He served as the master of ceremonies for the event.

The pow wow wraps up Saturday night.

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