Earlier Museum Films

In The Heart Of Tradition

"Haliwa-Sapini.  Meherrin.  Coharie.  Waccamaw-Siouan.  Lumbee.  Eastern Band of Cherokee.  Occaneechi Band of Saponi.  Sappony.  The NC Commission of Indian Affairs.  We are The People -- the First Nations -- the eight state-recognized tribes of North Carolina.  We have always been here.  And we are still strong, and growing.  Our ancestors left us with a flame in our hearts -- to keep alive what they taught us.  With the Creator's help, we will.
We live in the Heart of Tradition."

Our People:  The Coharie

Coharie people talk about their history and culture - about their sense of what it means to be Coharie. Their words, interwoven with images of past and present, revel the primary landmarks of Coharie identity: tradition, faith, community and education.

Our People:  The Occaneechi Band of the Sapponi Nation

Occaneechi people talk about their history and culture -- about their sense of what it means to be Occaneechi. Their words, interwoven with images of past and present, reveal the primary landmarks of Occaneechi identity: tradition, faith, community and education.

Our People:  The Sappony

Sappony people talk about their history and culture -- about their sense of what it means to them to be Sappony. Their words, interwoven with images of past and present, reveal the primary landmarks of Sappony identity: Tradition, faith, community and education.

Dancing in the Gardens of the Lord

There's an old Chippewa word 'pawa-tam' that means "I dream often." Our modern word powwow comes from the same Algonkian origin, which means "to dream." The faces at a powwow still reflect that original meaning -- the dream of ceremony, of healing; of tradition and the old ways; the dream of family; the dream of creation. And each year as summer heat takes its last effect, and autumn comes on with its cool evenings, the drum-beat echoes through the pine, oak and sweetgum, urging us to gather at the dance arena, closer to the dream, closer to 'pawa-tam.' For some, powwow is a time to renew old acquaintances, enjoy old friends and make new friends who share the dream. For others, it is a time of family; seeing the elders dance alongside the young ones, watching the young ones grow in the old ways. Powwow is a renewal of life in the circle, of oneness with creation and the Creator. At a powwow we connect past, present and future -- a very real dream, a tangible vision, bonding us all to Mother Earth and to each other. In the ancient words of the Aztec: "Now my friends, please hear; it is the song of a dream. Each spring the gold young corn gives us life; the ripened corn gives us refreshment. To know that the hearts of our friends are true is to put around us a necklace of precious stones."

Listen to the Drum:  A Closer Look at American Indian Powwow Music

The heartbeat of every powwow is the drum. This heartbeat influences the daily lives of the people who sing and dance with it. In this video members of Stoney Creek Singers discuss the history, meaning and relationships surrounding the powwow drum.