The Cherokee Nation will host the 59th Cherokee National Holiday’s intertribal pow wow on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 2 -3, at the Cherokee Nation cultural grounds located behind Sequoyah Schools on W. 810 Rd. south of Tahlequah, Okla. One of the largest powwows in the state, the event includes Gourd dancing, social dancing and competitive dancing. The pow wow is free and open to the public.
The Cherokee National Holiday has been held annually over Labor Day weekend since 1953. It commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the 1839 Cherokee Nation Constitution. It offers a full spectrum of entertainment, cultural and athletic events, and has blossomed into one of the largest festivals in Oklahoma, attracting more than 90,000 visitors from across the world. It is sponsored by the Cherokee Nation, a tribe consisting of more than 300,000 citizens with its capital in Tahlequah, Okla. A press release stated that the theme of this year’s Holiday is “Jobs, Language and Community,” reflecting the Cherokee Nation’s “emphasis on cultural and economic initiatives.”
The pow wow will kick-off at 5 p.m. on Friday, September 2, with gourd dancing. Grand entry takes place at 8 p.m., followed by social dancing. Then it’s time for the women, juniors and golden age divisions who will compete in their dances Friday night.
Gourd dancing comes roaring back again on Saturday at 2 p.m. The grand entry is at 8 p.m. followed by social dancing and the men’s competition. Your head man and head lady dancers will be Randy Frazier, Prairie Band Potawatomi, and Angie Goodfox, Sac and Fox. The head singer will be Pat Oyebi, Kiowa.
“Although most of the contest dances are not traditional Cherokee dances, the Holiday pow wow provides a welcoming way to include visitors from other tribal nations in Cherokee National Holiday activities. Spectators are welcome and are asked to observe traditional powwow etiquette while attending the event. Along with dancing, the pow wow will also feature a variety of arts and crafts vendors, as well as food concession,” the press release states.
For a full schedule of events and event locations for the Cherokee National Holiday, please call 918-453-5536 or visit http://holiday.cherokee.org.