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Native American Festival in Ithaca

Written by Katherine Slifer

Tutelo Park in Ithaca

Earlier in September, a Native American festival to honor and welcome the Tutelo, Cayuga, and other native tribes back to the Ithaca area was held. Tutelo Homecoming Festival: Welcoming Cayuga, Tutelo, Saponi & Kindred Indian Nations, featured the Haudenosaunee Singers and Dancers, Native flute music, and storytelling. The event, held at Tutelo Park in Ithaca, featured a variety of events such as corn husk doll making, storytelling, medicine plant walks, demonstrations on traditional hunting tools, flute playing, and singing and dancing.  Native American jewelry, moccasins, pots, and blankets were sold at the event. 

The festival featured several performances, some which encouraged audience participation in dance. The performers dressed in traditional attire and each song or dance performance represented a Native American way of life. The performances began with a stomp dance (a dance that the audience was able to master) then continued with the moccasin dance, the women's dance, and smoke dances. It was a very refreshing and beautiful festival that showed to the communities outside the reservations that much of the old Native American ways are still prominent in modern life.

The festival concluded  with a ceremonial relighting of the Tutelo Council Fire that celebrated the return of Native Tutelos to the area.






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