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98th Annual Cherokee Indian Fair
October 5 thru 9
http://www.nc-cherokee.com/theonefeathe … -schedule/
Eastern Band Cherokees get back to their ‘Roots’
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians held its 98th annual Cherokee Indian Fair Oct. 5 through Oct. 9 in Cherokee, N.C. PHOTO BY JAMI CUSTER
By JAMI CUSTER
Tues, Oct 19, 2010
CHEROKEE, N.C. – The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians celebrated its 98th annual Cherokee Indian Fair Oct. 5-9 on its Qualla Boundary with the same theme as when the holiday began – “From Our Roots.”
The original celebration began as an agricultural fair and the theme represented that idea, Janice Wildcat, EBCI’s Special Events coordinator officials, said.
“As stewards of the earth, the Cherokee people have been involved in environmentally sustainable agriculture, renewable resources, recycling and cultural preservation for centuries,” she said.
Wildcat also said the fair’s purpose is to give thanks for the harvest the Earth provides, to “clean the slate” for future celebrations, to renew friendships and make new friends and enjoy the company of family and friends before winter.
She said during the years the celebration has evolved from a simple agricultural fair by adding traditional crafts, dances and games such as archery, marbles and stickball.
“Lots of folks attend for the entertainment rather than to participate and show their best produce or skill at a traditional craft. Of course, as times changes the situations change, also,” Wildcat said.
Now the fair is a weeklong event with each day dedicated for a particular group or activity. This year, Tuesday was parade day; Wednesday was children’s day; Thursday was elders’ day; Friday was veterans’ day; and Saturday was community day.
“There are daily pageants for the young ladies...Little Miss, Junior Miss, and Teen Miss Cherokee, and for everyone – the carnival, food and craft vendors, info booths ranging from local colleges to health care,” Wildcat said.
The fair is similar to the Cherokee National Holiday that the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma celebrates, in that tribal citizens, as well as area residents and tourists, celebrate the Cherokee people and their heritage.
Some traditional and mountain contests scheduled throughout the week include archery, corn shucking, horseshoe tournaments, clogging, baby crawling and longest hair.
The EBCI also considers the fair to be a homecoming for those who live away from the boundary.
“Family members who live away from Cherokee often use this time to come home to attend the fair and to socialize with family and friends,” Wildcat said.
She said approximately 4,000 enrolled EBCI citizens and 9,000 guests attend the five days of the fair annually.
Wildcat added that the Cherokee Indian Fair has been a part of EBCI citizens’ lives, and each year they as well as others look forward to the celebration.
“We look forward to the excitement of the parade, the anticipation of seeing the community exhibit booths and the order of the prizes, the pageant winners, the cotton candy,” she said. “Grandma used to talk about the good times at the fair. Her mom, Mollie Running Wolf Sequoyah, was in a traditional dance group that performed at the fair, and I’m sure had her share of good times at the fair, too.”
2010 Cherokee Indian Fair Arts & Crafts Awards
October 18, 2010
This basket, by Maidena W. Wildcatt, won Best of Show in the Adult Division.
(Photo by Scott McKie B.P./One Feather)
Traditional Cherokee Unglazed Pottery, Modern Pottery, Large Wood Carvings, Small Wood Carvings, Stone Carvings, Masks, Blowgun with 6 darts, Pair of Ball Sticks, Wood Burning, Cloth Indian Dolls, Cornhusk Dolls, Fingerweaving, Weaponry, Double-woven River Cane Baskets, Dance Rattles, Seed Beads, and many more categories
http://www.nc-cherokee.com/theonefeathe … ts-awards/
2010 Cherokee Indian Fair Extension Awards
October 18, 2010
Jar Canning, Dried Foods Collection, Best Traditional Food, Sewing 1700s era, Quilt pieced, Embroidery, Wildflowers, Cherokee Nature Photo, Woodworking, Furniture, Other Traditional Type Bean, Honey w/comb, Herb Display, Birdhouse Gourd, Largest Sunflower, Bean Bread, and many more categories
http://www.nc-cherokee.com/theonefeathe … on-awards/