Chehaw hosts Native American festival - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Chehaw hosts Native American festival

May 14, 2004

Albany-- It's a culture that is colorful and upbeat. Native Americans love to tell stories to teach future generations about the past. And among their teaching tools are dance ceremonies.

It's exciting to watch the dancers from a far, but sometimes you get to experience the culture first hand. It started out with the professionals, but then there were the chosen ones, like Kameron Smith from Pelham Elementary School.

“Everybody tried to pick me cause I can dance,” she said. Kameron was ready, but I wasn't, at the last second, I was picked too enter the circle. Luckily, Kameron was a good Smoke Dance instructor. “Ohh, it's like, if you're going fast, your heart is beating real fast. I thought I couldn't keep up with it,” she said.

The spotlight is shining on Native Americans at this festival at Chehaw Park. Native People like teacher Diamond Brown love these field trips. “The creator has given me a job so I can go back in time in 2004, and I can go back in time and be like my ancestors were,” she said.

Like making fire with a rock and straw and he hopes he reaches at least one of these kids who stops by. “You know when the native people lived here, they could go to any river that flowed in North America and drink the water. But today they sell water, and the reason why is our rivers are polluted.”

Lessons of saving the earth, of how to make pottery from materials in the ground, not from the store, and of course, how to dance like Native People.

Kameron was a good sport too. I was having fun and it wasn't too hard, I could only imagine if I had a headdress and the whole outfit on too. Other highlights of the festival include authentic arts and crafts, Aztec Dancers, storytelling, cooking and all sorts of other demonstrations in the village.

The Native American Cultural Festival continues at Chehaw until ten Friday night and starts back up Saturday morning at ten.


posted at 4:20PM by dave.miller@walb.com