2017 August Gathering
Powwow Plagued By Rain Threat
Gordon Alexander Aug 7, 2017
BROWNINGTON — The Clan of the Hawk hosted its 28th Intertribal Powwow Saturday and Sunday at the Clan of the Hawk’s tribal grounds on Route 58 in Evansville.
The attendance was light on Saturday due to the ongoing threat of rain however the opening ceremonies of Smudging and the grand parade as well a ceremonial dances took place.
There was a chicken barbecue on Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m. and a fish fry on Sunday. All weekend there were native dancers, drumming by “The First Light Drummers” and from “The Clan of the Hawk,” Native lore story telling by E. George “Peskunck” Larrabee, of Woodbury, flute playing by Justin Thundercloud of Waterford, basket making class by Kay Healey, dream catchers, hand crafted jewelry and wooden crafts all available throughout various venues and the museum was open all day. The Pet parade took place on Sunday. Opening “Lakota” blessings were given by Bishop Lazarus a Greek Orthodox missionary of Richard.
Before the grand flag entry to the magic circle, the traditional smudging purification ceremony was held. Tom Blackhawk Caffrey (Abenakis, Penobscot of Mt. Blue, Maine, explained, “Smudging is the ritual of burning herbs and plant resins in a bowl while prayers of gratitude and well-being are said aloud. The smoke is fanned using the hand and/or a feather over a person. The purpose is to wash away impurities, sadness, anxieties, dark thoughts and any unwanted energies or emotions.”
The Abenaki, Clan of the Hawk’s 87-year-old Chief Spiritwater (Ralph Swett) announced at the event that he was stepping down this year as chief due to ill health. “I have enjoyed my duties as chief and all my friends and associates, but it is time for me to retire,” he said. A new chief will be chosen at a later date, according to Spiritwater.
“The energy level here is very high and visitors tell us that the grounds peaceful and relaxing, meditative and rejuvenating,” Chief Spiritwater said. “Over the years we have had many spiritual ceremonies here including naming ceremonies and weddings. We have had frequent pot luck suppers and simple friend gatherings. We hope that you all enjoyed your time here and that the peacefulness of our grounds and love of our people will lighten and brighten your summer,” the chief added.