Native Americans And Others Celebrate Heritage, Tradition

The Ninth Annual Aquini Spring Pow Wow wound down in Gulfport Sunday. More than 1,500 people ventured out to this 3-day event.

Native American history sprang to life under Rice Pavilion Sunday afternoon. Native Americans from across the country offered up praise for their Creator during a ghourd dance. This is one of many activities you would find at a PowWow.

"A PowWow is just like a family reunion. It's where we all get together and we show our respect and love for each other, and just have fun, sing and dance. We have our trade goods," said Irene Delancey, PowWow Coordinator.

Cocoa Creppel plays music at PowWows across the nation. The settings of these cultural celebrations may change, but the meaning behind the music remains the same.

Creppel says, "The songs we sing are prayer songs from the olden days. A lot of the songs we sing you hereWaconta in it. Waconta is God, the Creator. We all believe in one God, the creator."

And that's what PowWows like this one are all about--sharing the beliefs and culture of our nation's Native Americans.

"A lot of people don't know that there are still Native Americans left. They think they all died off, and they only go by what they read in history books, and this is to get the information out there to help them learn about our culture," Creppel said.

Members of more than 27 Native American nations traveled to Gulfport for this event to fellowship, share their culture, and create memories and stories to pass down for generations to come.