By: Scott Mckie B.P.
Kara Martin, a 24-year-old EBCI tribal member from the Wolftown Community, has worn every single crown the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has to offer. Now, she wants another crown…the one that says Miss Indian World.
She is traveling to Albuquerque, NM to compete in the pageant which is being held on April 24-26 at the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow.
“I want to be a good role model,” said Martin, “not only for the Eastern Band, but for all of the Indian nations. I want to present a positive role model to young women and men alike.”
Martin is the only one to have won every pageant title for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians including: Little Miss Cherokee 1996, Junior Miss Cherokee 1999, Teen Miss Cherokee 2004, and Miss Cherokee 2007.
For her talent at the Miss Indian World pageant, she will be performing the Cherokee Women’s Ball Dance with Bo Taylor, executive director of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. “Seven women would do the dance to represent the seven clans,” said Martin. “They would dance by firelight the entire night until the break of dawn. They would put beads down and dance on the opposing team.”
Martin got permission to perform the dance some years ago by the late Bill Reed of the Wolftown Ball Team.
During the pageant, she will wear several traditional Cherokee outfits including a woven skirt, modeled after one found in a cave in Tennessee, and a feather cape, both made by Deborah Harding of the Carnegie Museums in Pittsburgh. “It’s an honor to be able to wear these outfits and represent the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to show people that we’re still here. I’m pretty stoked at bringing this back.”
Martin said the preparations for the pageant have been fun and she is looking forward to the trip. “I was nervous, but now that it’s almost time to leave, I’m excited.”
She noted, “I’m looking forward to meeting everyone. Hopefully, they love my accent and wonder where I’m from and just give me a chance to talk about Cherokee. I’m proud of who I am.”
Martin is the daughter of Albert and Candy Martin and works part-time at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino as a cocktail server. She attends Southwestern Community College and plans to major in business and marketing.
She is still selling Miss Indian World raffle tickets – the sale of which are used to break ties in the pageant. To purchase tickets (2 for $5), contact Tina Saunooke 736-5922. There is also a silent auction being held at the Shawn Blanton Emergency Operations Center to help raise money for her trip.