This weekend, June 21-22, the town of Badin, North Carolina will celebrate its centennial with an inaugural pow wow that recognizes and honors Native Americans.
“Through the Historic Badin Hardaway Powwow we believe we can offer homage and honor to the original inhabitants of our land,” said Jay Almond, Badin’s town manager. “Badin’s centennial is a special time to celebrate the town’s identity and origin.”
Many consider the quaint little town dotted with French influence—Badin is named after French industrialist (ALCOA) Adrien Badin, who supervised the town’s creation and construction—as a natural lakeside destination but it is more than that to local folks who are proud of the area’s Indigenous Peoples history, dating back as far as 12,000 years ago.
Badin is home to the Hardaway Site, a significant archeological find with artifacts that include a distinct design of projectile point known as Hardaway point, as well as an assortment of scrapers, animal bone shards and fragments and chipped stone tools. The site, in 1990, was declared a National Historic Landmark.
It is believed that nomadic fishing and hunting were practiced along the rivers and streams of the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Basin and that the area was a gathering place for Indian tribes. Historians speculate that in ancient times Badin was a place of great ceremonial significance.
Almond said that two years ago local historians, volunteers and town staff began planning for a centennial celebration and part of the process was looking back to its roots and identity.
“That identity is tightly bound to the land and the water. Badin is at the foot of Morrow Mountain, part of the Uwharrie Mountains, and is situated along the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Basin,” he said.
“Along with our slogan [“Our History Runs Deep”], we identify heavily with our logo, a Hardaway side-notch spear point adorned with a fleur-de-lis. That combination unifies the two entities that comprise the genesis of Badin,” said Almond.
While the Badin Historic Museum has told the story of Badin and local discoveries associated with Native culture, it will be the town’s first foray into a formal celebration of its Native heritage, said Almond.
The pow wow will be held on 14 acres of open grass land surrounded by dense forest, smooth rolling mountains and an undeveloped lake within a stone’s throw of the archeological site, he said.
To help celebrate its momentous occasion and organize the pow wow, the town has sought the help of Matt Steed, Cherokee, a pow wow dancer and vendor. “He has been instrumental in helping organize this pow wow as have many of his contacts who are from various tribes,” said Almond.
“We have secured NaMaWoChi to provide lead drum, MC and arena director responsibilities,” he said.
Also among the head staff are Rick Kelley, arena director; Mike Cranford, lead male dancer; Jeannie Cranford, lead female dancer; and Harland Richardson, MC.
“Since it isn’t a competitive pow wow, there isn’t any prize money, but there are hundreds of dollars worth of raffle prizes,” said Almond. Prizes include a queen-size Pendleton blanket, numerous shoulder bags emblazoned with the pow wow's name and town logo and a hand-carved Native flute.
Also in preparation for the two-day pow wow, Almond said volunteers have painted several 15-foot tall tipis that will be on display.
Three grand entries are slated, and there will be a variety of foods available. Intertribal dancing, storytelling, demonstrations and music are expected to entertain and thrill the crowds.
“At the close of the weekend I would love to know we hosted a culture-fest of vendors, visitors, drummers and dancers from every known Native American Indian tribe and nation,” said Almond.
For more information about the Historic Badin Hardaway Powwow, click here.