Native Americans are proud of their heritage as was witnessed at the gathering of tribes near Senecaville, Ohio at Buffalo Hills Resort. Indian Pow Wows join together tribe members for dancing, singing, socializing, and most of all, honoring their Indian culture. This seemed like the “real thing” as Native Americans congregated for their own enjoyment, not just entertainment. Any lessons learned by White Man were considered a bonus.
Did you ever taste Frybread? Native Americans will often remark, “Frybread is the story of our survival.” Over a hundred years ago when the US forced Indians to take “The Long Walk” from Arizona to New Mexico, they nearly starved in their new landscape. To keep them from starving, the US government gave them flour, sugar, and lard – the makings of frybread, which later led to various health problems. At the Pow Wow, authentic Indian food was served by concessions and Frybread was delicious either served as the base for an Indian Taco, or covered with sugar and cinnamon. Also on the menu were Buffalo Burgers and Gator Nuggets on a Stick, with Snowballs for dessert.
Native costumes caught the eye of visitors as Indian maidens seemed to float over the ground with their smooth movements. Delicate woodland flowers and vines added beauty to the deerskin dresses, as did the unusual jewelry made with the help of Mother Nature. Necklaces and bracelets were designed from acorns, spices, dried corn and seeds. This beautiful maiden was called Gentle Dove and said to be a Messenger for Love and Peace.
A circle of baled hay made a comfortable place to observe the Indians’ presentations. In the afternoon an entertaining storyteller told traditional Indian legends, most of which centered around animals. All their stories have special meaning, and hopefully an effect on the listeners. The story of a Snake taught children to beware of wild animals, while the adventures of Bear and Rabbit with Buzzard described why Buzzard has a deep mark on his face to this day.
John Red Deer filled the spot of medicine man for the day with his extensive knowledge of herbs for healing. While there were many interesting items in his display, the popular 7 Grandfathers All Purpose Salve topped the list. As you can see from the sign, it can be used for many different ailments as well as a detox. John Red Deer feels inspired to make this in cream, liquid for detox, and even in stick form to carry with you for cuts and bites.
Peppermint and Spearmint form the base of this magical salve plus seven other herbs, which he feels he will reveal soon so others can carry on his work. Plants are harvested as he is guided by the voice of Spirit, and later the herb combination is brewed during the Summer Solstice. This time of solar and lunar infusion gives the perfect blending of the herbs. A severe storm this year, while he was making the salve, produced two hours of intense energy, which John Red Deer felt increased the strength and effectiveness of that salve. His plans are to make a medicinal soap in the near future.
With the drums and flutes of Southern Pine in the center of the circle, the evening dance was a pleasure to watch. Leading the procession of dancers were Native Americans carrying the USA flag, an MIA flag, as well as their traditional eagle staff with an eagle head on the top. The opening prayer was given first in Choctaw language, followed by English.
Songs were sung to relatives who had passed on to another world and veterans were honored with the blowing of the eagle whistle. Beautiful dresses filled the center and individual dances were performed. The Jingle Dress glistened in the sunlight and jingled to the beat of the drums.
To close the evening, couples did a Potato Dance with a potato held between their foreheads as they constantly moved to the music. The last couple to keep the potato from dropping to the ground was the winner of a small monetary prize.
Find an Indian Pow Wow in your area to attend so you, too, can learn of the American Indian traditions. While sometimes stories are heard about the Indian attacks long ago, they basically wanted to be peaceful people and enjoy their style of life in the quiet of their homes. Imagine sitting in the woods with the drums beating, chants filling the air, and the Spirit surrounding you. That’s the way life is meant to be!
Buffalo Hills Resort encompasses over 300 acres in southeastern Ohio making it one of Ohio’s largest campgrounds. Campers have their choice of primitive camping, parking for their RV, as well as cabin or perhaps teepee rental. While it isn’t far from the interstate, it is definitely peaceful country and near Seneca Lake. Leaving I-77, take exit 37 to the East (State Route 313) until you come to the four-way stop at Senecaville. Make a right hand turn on State Route 285 then shortly a left at the fork on State Route 566, also called Opossum Run Road. After a couple miles, campers will find Buffalo Hills Resort on the left hand side.