36th Annual Powwow Sept. 7 and 8 showcases Fancy Dance

Young Malachi Miller in colorful regalia shows the intricate steps of the Fancy Dance. SOURCE SUBMITTED
August 1, 2013

The Nanticoke Indian Association will hold its 36th Annual Powwow Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7 and 8, in a wooded area off Route 24, John J. Williams Highway, Millsboro.

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A special feature of the 36th Annual Powwow is dancing, and the Men’s Fancy Dance is among the most popular. The Men’s Fancy Dance originated in the 1950s to attract and please powwow visitors. The dance is flashy, colorful and requires stamina, strength and coordination; therefore, it is usually performed by young men. Fancy Dance movement is faster than any other dance.

Distinguishing the Men’s Fancy Dance outfit is the twin bustle, decorated with a colorful fringe that flows freely while the dancer performs the ruffle with fast foot movements. The fringe’s many colors are said to represent the Rainbow Spirit. The dancer wears a headdress roach with two feathers that are kept moving throughout the dance; at times, the dancer’s face cannot be seen because of the flowing fringe. Dancers also carry decorated coup sticks. This dance, also known as the Bustle Dance, is said to have originated in Oklahoma.

Powwow grounds open at 10 a.m., and Grand Entry on Saturday will be at noon, second dance session at 4 p.m. Sunday morning begins with a Worship Service at 10 a.m.; Grand Entry on Sunday is at 1 p.m. The 40 Native American crafts and food vendors open at 10 a.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday. All day parking including admission is $10 per car, walk-in admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children, $5 for motorcycles, $25 for buses plus $2 for each person on the bus, and driver will have to collect individual fees.

Attendees who are wheelchair users or have motorized wheelchairs will enter the powwow grounds on Mount Joy Road and will be directed to the identified parking area where unloading and access to seating is convenient. Unless otherwise directed, handicapped attendees who normally use the general powwow parking area will continue to do so if they are able to load their wheelchairs and ride the tram to the powwow grounds. Special seating for these handicapped individuals will continue to be available and monitored by powwow staff.

For more information, call 302-945-3400, email or visit

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