Pioneer Village to host Indian Festival

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 11, 2001

Features Editor

Those who hear the sound of "distant" drumming this weekend will be missing one of the most outstanding Native American Indian events in Pike County in a long while.

The Southeast Pioneer Village is hosting a Mother’s Day Weekend Indian Festival, featuring the Red Wind Spirit Singers from Chipley, Fla.

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Just hearing the drums from a distance will not compare to being on the grounds to enjoy the dancing, the storytelling and the traditional foods of the Native Americans.

The three-day Indian Festival will gets underway today, which is children’s day, and will continue through Sunday.

Ruth Pace, coordinator of the event, said the activities for today have been planned with children in mind.

"We have invited the schools to bring their students out and to be a part of the activities and learn more about Native Americans," Pace said. "The events have been planned especially for children. They will enjoy drumming, dancing and storytelling and will be able to participate in some of the dancing. They will have opportunities to see corn roasted on an open fire and fry bread cooked in the same way."

Parents with preschoolers are also encouraged to bring their little ones to the Pioneer Village today and experience the Native American traditions.

Saturday is usually the biggest day for the Indian Festival and a large crowd is expected.

"The lead dancers on Saturday will be Richard Gray Bull, who is a Dakota Sioux, and April Folmer, a Mississippi Choctaw," Pace said. "Both are outstanding dancers and a really exciting to watch."

Sunday will be a continuation of Saturday’s events which include Native American foods and vendors who specialize in Native American items.

"Children will also enjoy our Saturday and Sunday events," Pace said. "But, the dances are geared more to older youths and adults."

In addition to foods prepared by Native Americans, the Pioneer Village Cafe will be open to visitors and

there will also be boiled peanuts and watermelons for sale.

The cabins that make up the village will be open to visitors and they offer a wide variety of items for browsing and buying.

"Our cabin shops have arts and crafts, quilts, ceramics, jewelry, glassware, antiques, collectibles, and, of course, Native American items," Pace said.

There is no admission to the Mother’s Day Weekend Native American Festival and it would be a nice outing for mom, dad and the family, Pace said.

Southeast Pioneer Village is located seven miles north of Troy on Highway 231.