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Pow Wow was ‘awesome, wonderful experience’

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Organisers of the biennial Bermuda Pow Wow 2013 have hailed the weekend event at St David’s Cricket Club an overwhelming success.

St David’s Islanders and Native Community chairwoman Nevis Filice said the event made history on a number of levels.

Most notably she said the Warwick Gombey Troupe has been invited to perform at the East Coast Native American Pow Wow on July 4. And they have been invited to perform in Michigan next year.

“For the first time the native drummers and the Warwick Gombeys drummed together, I still get goose bumps thinking about it; it was really powerful,” said Ms Filice.

“They were given an eagle feather by an Ojibew elder and we had an honour ceremony that was really special.

“Eagle feathers are sacred to Native Americans because eagles fly close to God, they’re the highest flying birds of prey. When you have an eagle feather it connects you to the spirits or higher power.”

And for the first time she said the group was invited to perform outside the City Hall by Mayor of Hamilton Graeme Outerbridge. This year’s event also had special meaning because Amelia Bingham, 90, from Mashtee in Cape Cod, attended with two daughters. She is the clan mother of the Wampanoag Tribe based in Cape Cod linked to Bermuda.

“She was determined to come here to see where her relatives who were sold into slavery many years ago ended up, and she was honoured to be here,” said Ms Filice.

“Overall, I thought is was extremely successful and it was nice to see the Premier and the Governor join in the circle to participate in the dances.”

The next Pow Wow will be held in 2015. Ms Filice added: “I just hope that more Bermudians will come down and see that piece of history that was lost but is now being resurrected through the kindness and generosity of the East Coast tribes who are willing to come here and teach us cultural traditions.

“It is an awesome, wonderful experience, not only for St David’s residents but for all of Bermuda to be in touch with where we came from. That helps us as a people to understand who we are, which is extremely important as we face the challenges of every day living.

“This event is growing and becoming more and more important, it’s now a staple on Bermuda’s social calendar.”

Children laugh as the avoid the 'hunters' during the duck dance at the Bermuda Pow Wow at St David’s Cricket Club on Saturday.
The Bermuda Pow Wow at St David’s Cricket Club on Saturday.

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Published June 26, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 26, 2013 at 12:25 am)

Pow Wow was ‘awesome, wonderful experience’

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