Native American Festival set for Sept. 17-18
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.