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Radio: Hannahville Indian Community keeping its traditions alive

Filed Under: National
More on: hannahville, michigan, powwows

Veterans at a prior Hannahville Indian Community powwow. Photo from HIC

Michigan Radio reports on the resurgence of Potawatomi culture within the Hannahville Indian Community:
Native American culture has been struggling to survive for more than a century. For a Potawatomi tribe in the Upper Peninsula, tribal culture almost vanished around the 1940s. But for the past four decades, there have been efforts to bring tribal culture back.

This summer, tribes from the Great Lakes region gathered for the annual powwow at the Hannahville reservation, just outside of Escanaba. Inside a big circle in a grassy outdoor arena, dozens of dancers displayed the moves of their ancestors.

They dance with their chests hunched forward. Their feet move with a rhythmic skip that kind of looks like a chicken walk. Everyone in the circle dressed in elaborate regalia, decorated with feathers, beads, ribbons, and bells. Women danced with small aluminum cones that hung from the fringes of their dresses and jingled to the sound of the drum.

Earl Meshigaud is the cultural director and spiritual leader of the Hannahville Indian Community. He says the drum represents the heartbeat of Mother Earth and is also the heartbeat of the community.

Get the Story:
How a Potawatomi tribe lost its culture and what it takes to bring it back (Michigan Radio 8/14)

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