Native American tribes bring culture to more than 1,400 at Hardeeville festival

Native American tribes bring culture to more than 1,400 at Hardeeville festival
More than1,400 people attended the annual festival in Hardeeville (Source: WTOC)

HARDEEVILLE, S.C. (WTOC) -Native American vendors came from across the country to Hardeeville, celebrating and teaching others about their culture.

Sunday was the last day of the 20th Lowcountry Pow Wow and Cultural Festival.

“I’d say there’s probably 50-100 tribes represented here this weekend,” says Ryan Little Eagle.

Organizers say over 1,400 people came out to the Pow Wow this year to dance, shop, and learn more about the history and culture of the Native American people.

Joey Pierce has been a vendor at the event for over eight years. He’s a Vietnam veteran, educator and jewelry designer.

“I think most everybody that’s involved in these things is here for education," Pierce says. "That’s our primary and to share the culture and to be able to show people that it’s not a show. It’s not a dog and pony show it’s not a show for anybody just to come out and do this is educational. This is following how the old ones used to do things.”

This year’s Pow Wow and festival also featured traditional drumming, singing, flute playing, and demonstrations from different Native tribes.

“Coming out to stuff like this, it’s a way to experience a living, breathing culture that still exists to this day and that’s not extinct,” said Ryan Little Eagle.

Rick Bird is a part of the Eastern Band of Cherokee in North Carolina. He’s been going to Pow Wow’s since he was a child and says he keeps coming back to the Lowcountry to teach people about his culture and break stereotypes.

“We want them to learn about our culture and that way through learning we understand each other, and it can be a better world,” he says.

Vendors at this year’s Pow Wow and festival say they’re already looking forward to next year’s event.

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