Na­tive Amer­i­can Fes­ti­val set for Sept. 17-18

Dorchester Star - - Regional - By VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE vwingate@ches­ Fol­low me on Twit­ter @ vic­to­ri­adorstar and on In­sta­gram @dorch­

VI­ENNA — The Nause-Wai­wash Band of In­di­ans will hold its 24th an­nual Na­tive Amer­i­can Fes­ti­val Sept. 17 and 18, in Vi­enna.

The fes­ti­val will be set up at the ball­park in Vi­enna, 214 Mid­dle Street, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sun­day.

Events and en­ter­tain­ment will in­clude tra­di­tional na­tive danc­ing, demon­stra­tions, au­then­tic Na­tive Amer­i­can food, drum­ming, crafts, raf­fles, silent and live auc­tions, a bake sale, and ven­dors.

The live auc­tion will be­gin at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. The silent auc­tion will end at 2:30 p.m. on Sun­day. Do­nated items for the auc­tions will be ac­cepted through Thurs­day, Sept. 15 and must be ac­com­pa­nied by a tag in­di­cat­ing the donor’s name and the item’s es­ti­mated worth.

Ad­mis­sion is $5 for adults and chil­dren 7 and older. Chil­dren 6 and un­der and guests with an ac­tive mil­i­tary ID will en­ter free of charge.

The Nause-Wai­wash Band of In­di­ans is made up of de­scen­dants of lo­cal Nan­ti­coke In­di­ans. Their first fes­ti­val was held in 1992. In 2005, the an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of their her­itage was moved to Vi­enna to bring the event closer to the sites of the orig­i­nal vil­lages.

The fes­ti­val was or­ga­nized for three rea­sons, ac­cord­ing to the Nause-Wai­wash: to ed­u­cate the pub­lic and hold onto their cul­ture, raise the self-es­teem of their peo­ple and raise money for their tribal of­fice and long­house.

The Nause-Wai­wash In­di­ans wel­comed a new chief in 2015— Chief Wolf Mother — the first woman to ever lead this rem­nant tribe of Lower Eastern Shore Na­tive Amer­i­cans.

Donna “Wolf Mother” Ab­bott was born and raised in Dorch­ester County, her na­tive roots ex­tend­ing back for gen­er­a­tions. It was im­por­tant, Ab­bott said, that her cer­e­mony be held on a full moon, as her nam­ing cer­e­mony sev­eral years ago, when she re­ceived the name “Wolf Mother” from the pre­vi­ous el­der Chief Sewell Win­ter­hawk Fitzhugh, also took place on a full moon.

Ab­bott be­came a mem­ber of the tribe in 2005 and an ac­tive par­tic­i­pant in 2006. She per­formed the du­ties of trea­surer and sec­re­tary for the tribe be­fore tak­ing on the role of chief.

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