By: Geoff Spillane
GEOFF SPILLANE/ENTERPRISE – Chairman Cedric Cromwell said the theme of this year’s event is “Honoring Our Waterways.”
In less than two weeks the Cape Cod Fairgrounds on Route 151 will come alive with the sounds of Native American drumming, and the scent of traditional Wampanoag cuisine.
The 93rd annual Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Pow Wow, which in the past has attracted more than 10,000 attendees, will be held from July 4 through 6 from 10 AM to 10 PM.
In an interview earlier this week at the tribe’s new community and government center on Great Neck Road South, Chairman Cedric Cromwell discussed the theme of this year’s event: “Honoring Our Waterways.”
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“Mashpee means ‘land of many waters’ in our language, and on ancient waterways is how we traveled from one place to another. The waterways represent the flow of Mother Earth, and they give us life and sustenance,” Mr. Cromwell said.
He also hoped that the pow wow will raise awareness of the area’s bays, rivers, lakes, and ponds as precious natural resources that need to be protected from contamination.
Dancers and drummers at the pow wow will give special homage to waterways and water travel during their performances throughout the weekend.
The three-day event will feature a wide array of solemn, spiritual, and festive activities that celebrate the heritage and culture of the tribe.
Mr. Cromwell also noted the significance of the coming event being the 93rd annual, as Vernon N. Lopez (Chief Silent Drum), the chief of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, recently entered his 93rd year.
Highlights of the weekend include traditional dance and drumming contests where contestants will vie for $35,000 in prizes. There will also be musical performances by the Wampanoag Nation singers and dancers, as well as Native American handcrafts and cuisine.
“The Pow Wow represents a homecoming celebration, and we invite leadership from all northeastern tribes to be our special guests during the weekend,” Mr. Cromwell said, adding that he expects several elected officials on the local, state, and national levels to attend.
Admission to the pow wow is $13 for adults and ages 12 and over, and $8 for senior citizens and children under 12. Children ages 5 and younger receive free admission.