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Spirit Lives On

[media-credit id=8 align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]Nearly 10 tribes from across North America were represented this past weekend at Millington’s USA Stadium during the Seventh Annual Turtle Island Pow Wow.

Event Organizer Hal Coulston said he was happy with the events, participants and spectators for the two-day event coming from across the United States and Mexico. But Coulston said the most important people at the Pow Wow might be too young to understand what was going on.

“This keeps our heritage going,” he said. “We have to teach our children. It’s real nice to enjoy the arts and crafts and entertainment. But the greatest part is giving our younger children a chance to learn their culture and not the Hollywood image they’ve seen growing up.”

Coulston and the nearly 20 organizers scheduled events showcasing Native American culture from the Plain States to the Aztecs of Mexico.

Also on display were the ways of the Native Americans who grew up in the Mississippi Valley to the Everglades of Florida.

Among the booths featuring Native American clothes and paraphernalia, event-goers could sample Native American cuisine.

Both Saturday’s and Sunday’s activities started with Grand Opening dance followed by the National Anthem and Native American anthem and spiritual song. Coulston said music is a very important part of the culture. He invited national recording artist and Native American flute player J.J. Kent to Millington.

Kent has recorded five CDs with one being a Country-Western album. The other four feature Native American stories and music featuring the courting flute.

The Native American flutist travels across the United States speaking at colleges and pow wows about the Lakota tribe and other Native American facts.

“I feel very blessed the Great Spirit has given me this talent,” he said. “I’m blessed that people feel I play well enough that it makes them feel good and they enjoy themselves.

“It’s a big responsibility to play the music and speak on the culture,” Kent added. “I’m glad to help open the door so people can learn more.”

Kent and others played music on their flutes. And the Aztec dancers brought color and movement to the pounding drums.

The Pow Wow was the vision of Coulston and his late wife Rita. She passed away in 2008 after helping to get the annual event to USA Stadium.

“It’s real important to me to put this on for our people and her,” Coulston concluded. “She is a very important part of my life. We were together for 35 years.”

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August 2012
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