Bermuda Pow Wow Festival
Since the time of British colonial days of 17th century when slavery was prevalent in the island, Bermudian ancestry has had deep connections with the Native Americans or the American Indians. While in Bermuda, African and Caribbean ancestries are more recognized because bulk of the slaves were brought in from those regions, several Native Americans were also brought to the island by British as slaves, and hence the ancestral connections.
Pow Wow is an old tradition to celebrate such ancestry. It began in the year 2000 when it was more like a gathering of tribal communities. It is said that Pow Wow has its roots with Wampanoag homecoming ceremony that are celebrated by the tribes elsewhere. However today it has expanded to sharing of cultures and traditions in various forms including traditional dances, music, food etc.
The St. David's Islanders and Native Community organizes this Pow Wow festival once in two years. Usually it is held at the St. David's Cricket Ground at the eastern end of the island over two days in the month of June. While many islanders join the celebration, overseas visitors and particularly many native American performers are also invited in the event.
Usually on the event begins with Grand Entry of the performing groups in their native colorful costumes. Particularly noteworthy are the long feathers tucked into the head gears. The grand entry is followed by Libation and dedication ceremony when flowers and wreaths are thrown into the water honoring the loved ones.
And then all the cultural festivities begin. Although this is summertime and the scorching sun on the open ground could be quite harsh on the performers, but you will be surprised to see the enthusiasm on the field. Hundreds of islanders with families and children join the festival. Tents and temporary stalls are set up circling one part of the ground and the performances are carries out at the center so that all sitting under the tents can watch them.
Highlights include traditional dances performed by local and native American dancers, music and drums, Bermuda Gombey Dancers, St. David's traditional food, Art and Craft stalls, and various other vendors. Children mix freely with the performers, and there is also a dance that involves all including the spectators. So overall a great festive celebration.
Pow Wow 2015- Schedule and Venue
June 13, 2015 (1pm to 6pm); June 14, 2015 (2pm to 7pm)
To be held at St. David's Cricket Club Ground
Grand Entry at 2pm on 13th, and 3pm on 14th.
Entry fee: Adult $8, Children $4
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