Schemitzun, the Native American Feast
of Green Corn and Dance, is held yearly in Southeastern Connecticut
adjacent to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation reservation (its
sponsor) and less than a mile east of Foxwoods Resort Casino (free
shuttles run to the powwow).
It's a four-day event, running from Thursday through Sunday, is one
of the largest powwows in New England, and features colorful
dancing (over 3,000 participants), the Grand Entry, a live rodeo, great food, and many lovely
Native American crafts (about 100 vendors were set up this year). Tribal members from all across the
country and Canada attend and it is open to all.
A 17th century Woodland Village was set up featuring native culture
and tradition of the Tribal peoples of the Eastern Seaboard. "Wetus"
(wigwams) are constructed by Tribal young people. Ancient
stories are told and dances such as the Welcome Dance, Blanket,
Hunter's Stop, and Round Dance are featured. Various East
Coast Tribes demonstrated net making, cooking over an open fire,
pottery making, canoe construction, and other ancient Native arts
Drum and dance competitions present the finest contestants in Indian
Country. This year Schemitzun added a Teen Drum Contest.
The rodeo, the Michael T. Goodwin Memorial Buck-a-Rama rodeo, was
all Native American participants, primarily Navajo, competing for a
share in the $45,000 payout. The rodeo was held each day -
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30, and 3:00 p.m. on Sunday
Native crafts included: jewelry, regalia, beadwork, baskets,
sculptures, carvings, pottery, flutes, children's games.
I attended Thursday,
Friday, and Saturday, parking my small motor home in the parking
area at Foxwoods designated for RVs and campers. I headed home early
Sunday morning - I would very much have liked to attend the fourth
day, but decided traffic heading from the nearby shore area and
Foxwoods would be very heavy later in the day. I am definitely
planning to attend next year for all four days.
Schemitzun 2009 will be held August 20 to 23,