Nanticoke Indian Powwow Sept. 6 and 7 features Men's Fancy Dance

Young Malachi Miller in colorful regalia shows the intricate steps of the Fancy Dance. SOURCE SUBMITTED
August 23, 2014

The Nanticoke Indian Association will be holding its 37th Annual Powwow on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 6 and 7, and one of the most popular attractions in years past has been the Men’s Fancy Dance, originated in the 1950s to attract and please powwow visitors. The dance is flashy and 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.

The powwow grounds are in the middle of a naturally beautiful wooded area off Route 24, John J. Williams Highway near Millsboro. Powwow signs will be posted along Route 24 between routes 113 and 1. Powwow grounds open at 10 a.m., and Grand Entry on Saturday will be at noon; the second dance session comes at 4 p.m. Sunday morning begins with a Worship Service at 10 a.m.; Grand Entry on Sunday starts at 1 p.m.

The 40 Native American crafts and food vendors open at 10 a.m. Saturday and noon Sunday. All-day parking including admission is $10 per car; walk-in admission is $3 for adults and $3 for children, $5 for motorcycles, $25 for buses plus $3 per person on the bus - driver will have to collect fee for each person on the bus. For more information, call 302-945-3400, email or go to