On September 11, 2021, The Nanticoke Tribe held its 43rd annual Powwow in Milton, Delaware. The event took place from Saturday to Sunday. This year, Delaware State students had the opportunity to film the event.
“Filming for the Nanticoke Powwow was definitely a great experience. Not only did I use my creativity filming the event, but I also captured the authenticity of the Nanticoke people, which in itself was a great experience,” said Charles Anyanwu, one of the Delstate videographers.
“My family members are of the Nanticoke Tribe in Delaware. Chief Carmine reached to me to see if Delaware State University students would be interested in covering the Powwow event. She thought it would be a great opportunity for them to create a video about the annual event,” said Dr. Dawn Mosley, Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications.
“Professor Zak Kimball coordinated two amazing students to film the event. Thankfully, Charles and Selena volunteered!” Added Dr. Mosley.
Native American Powwows are sacred gatherings for the Indigenous people as a way to reconnect. Powwow activities may include dancing, singing, drumming, and eating. Many Natives also take the opportunity to sell handmade jewelry, artwork, clothes, and other cultural items.
“It’s just the importance of letting others see how creative we are with dance, drums, and the physical work of making things,” said Denise Lowe-Williams, a Native Vendor.
Being in-person makes the experience of a Powwow remarkable, for those who could not attend the event, Delaware State University will be editing a video for the public.
“In my opinion, digital is the best format to share a story and to capture moments like a powwow. Nothing else can capture the rich color, sound, and overall feel of an event or moment. It brings the listener or viewer so close to the moment they can smell the food and hear the music!” said Dr. Mosley
A special aspect of Powwows is how they allow for Indigenous tribes to connect with each other.
“I think it is very important for culture to the people in the Native Nations because you can find many people from different tribes or nations,” said Inti Jimbo, another Native Vendor.
Powwows allow for a means of embracing and respecting cultures. Even within the Native community, there are other tribes to connect with. For non-Natives, it is a way to appreciate and a spreading awareness about the Native community.
“It is important to witness and participate in other cultural events to embrace different cultures and experience various food, music, programs, and rituals. It is critical to this world’s mental and social health to respect other beliefs and cultural differences. I also believe we spend too much time focusing on the differences rather than celebrating our commonalities. We are stronger together,” said Dr. Mosley
Even for non-Natives, the experience was unique.
“Experiencing a Powwow for the first time was absolutely a breathtaking and amazing experience… I got a better understanding of the Native American people, their culture, and truthfully a group of people that we never really hear from, so it was definitely a refreshing and awe-inspiring event to be able to attend,” said Anyanwu.
In agreement with Dr. Mosley, Anyanwu stressed unity was crucial.
“All cultures in this country should be embraced and shared because as divided as the country is, our diversity and culture should be what brings us together, not separate us!” added Anyanwu.