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Pow-Wow rich in heritage

September 10, 2013

When it comes to preserving heritage and keeping the traditions of years past alive, none do it any better than the Coharie Tribe.


This weekend, as it has done for the past 43 years, tribal leaders will hold the annual Pow-Wow, the first of dozens that will be held in North Carolina and the nation this year. Sampson County’s Coharie Tribe starts out the Pow-Wow season each year, an honor we are proud we are a part.


The Pow-Wow is a testament to the rich heritage that is handed down from generation to generation in the Coharie Tribe and, for that matter, in all Native American tribes. It is a celebration, a time for tribes to come together, to fellowship and to offer thanks for all the blessings of the past year and for all the blessings they hope to receive during this coming year.


It’s also a time for tribes to show off their heritage. Dressed in full regalia, many perform traditional dances that memorialize, honor or praise. To Native Americans, being honored and honoring others is a large part of their tradition, and a large part of what the Pow-Wow is all about.


It is a unique and impressionable tradition, one from which, we believe, many lessons can be derived.


Wouldn’t it be nice, for example, if we all tried harder to honor people in our own lives, and to live in such a manner that others would feel strongly about wanting to honor us?


The Coharie understand honor and they know how to bestow it upon others in a regal, yet humble manner. Just as they know how to secure tradition and to see that that tradition is passed on from generation to generation.


The Pow-Wow is an extraordinary way to preserve those traditions and to ensure that the heritage left to them is passed down from generation to generation.


So many times in today’s society, it seems heritage and even tradition have been left behind. For many, the gifts left by generations past have no meaning in this high-tech world in which we live.


Not so for the Coharie or for many other Native American tribes. They believe strongly in their roots, in the heritage that makes them who they are and they keep that heritage alive. The Pow-Wow is just one such way of doing it.


We have, right here in our midst, a piece of history that comes to life once a year. For many of us, it is history that escapes our view, an event we rarely, if ever think about. But it is an event that would do us all much good to attend. This year’s events are Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13 and 14, and all the rich traditions will be on display. We encourage everyone to try to make this event part of their weekend activities.


We can all learn from the heritage of the Coharie, and we can all learn from the history that unfolds right here in our county every September. It’s something to see and experience.