Tunica-Biloxi Pow Wow Celebrates 20 Years


pow wow tshirt designThe Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana announced that it will celebrate its 20th annual Pow Wow on Saturday, May 16th, from 10:00am to 10:00pm, and Sunday, May 17th, from 10:00am to 4:00pm. The event will take place at the Earl J. Barbry, Sr. Convention Center at the Paragon Casino Resort located at 711 Paragon Place in Marksville, and will feature dance and drum demonstrations and more than 35 food and craft vendors.


The Pow Wow will include a featured performance by Tunica-Biloxi Singers & Legend Keepers and dance “Specials” sponsored by the Roland Thompson and Peanutt Roberts families. The Pow Wow’s 2015 head staff includes: Alva Fiddler (Apache, Oklahoma) as Head Lady Dancer, Harold Rodgers (Grand Prairie, Texas) as Head Man Dancer, Randy Frazier (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) as Head Dance Judge, Bert Polchies (Waite, Maine) as Head Drum Judge, Richard Attocknie (Carnegie, Oklahoma) as Head Gourd Dancer, Dale Roberts (Atwood, Oklahoma) as Arena Director, Ottertrail Singers (Apache, Oklahoma) as Southern Host Drum, Young Bear Singers (Mandaree, North Dakota) as Northern Host Drum, and Tim Tall Chief (Jones, Oklahoma) and Herbert Chickdog Johnson (Livingston, Texas) as Co-Emcees.


The event will feature Native American dance and drum competitions on Saturday and Sunday that include cash prizes. The dance competition will feature 13 categories, including the Chicken Dance and Northern and Southern categories in men and women’s Golden Age. The drum competition will be split into Northern and Southern categories. Registration for the dance and drum competition will be held on Saturday, May 16th, from 8:00am to noon.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATickets for the Pow Wow will be available for purchase on-site and include $5.00 for general admission and $3.00 for children 5 years old and under. Pow Wow registered drum singers and dancers in regalia with numbered credentials will receive free admission. The event will include a $5.00 entry fee for dance competition participants. Parking will be available at the Paragon Casino Resort; rates for RV camping and lodging will be provided upon request.


“From its inception, the Tunica-Biloxi Pow Wow was created to bring our community closer together and to celebrate our native heritage,” said Committee Chairman John Barbry.  “It has been gratifying to see the community spirit and the interest of tribal youth in Tunica-Biloxi history and culture as a result of their experiences at the Pow Wow.”


Since 1995, the Pow Wows has given Tunica-Biloxi tribal and non-members opportunities to experience the history and traditions of the tribe. The Tunica-Biloxi Pow Wow affirms the endurance of indigenous culture through vibrant craft displays, music performances, dance presentations and cultural exhibits.


As part of the celebration, the Tunica-Biloxi Pow Wow Committee will present a series of free programs on Native American culture for school children from Avoyelles, Rapides, and surrounding parishes. The programs will be held at the Mari Showroom at Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville on Friday, May 15th.


The presentation will cover various components of an inter-tribal pow wow highlighting the historical, social, religious, and symbolic significance of its activities.  Adult and children native dancers will demonstrate the Round Dance along with various other dance styles seen at pow wows throughout America. Students will be encouraged to participate in the Round Dance, Two-step, and other inter-tribal dances.


powwow1-webThe Ottertrail singers from Apache, Oklahoma, will accompany dance exhibitions in northern and southern styles during the program. The program will also include a presentation of songs and stories by the Tunica-Biloxi Singers and Legend Keepers.  There will also be an interactive presentation of Native American tools and toys set in a traditional home site.


This outreach program is a rare and valuable opportunity for students to learn firsthand about Indian cultures from native people. The Native American presenters will be displaying and selling handmade arts and crafts at the conclusion of the programs.


There is limited amount of space for each program, so please make your reservations early.  The program is approximately 90 minutes in length and will begin at 10:00am on Friday, May 15th.


For more information about the 2015 Pow Wow, please call (800) 946-1946 ext. 1923 or visit www.tunicapowwow.org.