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Native American Homecoming Festival in Tutelo Park

Written by Katherine Slifer
9/23/2008

Tutelo Homecoming Festival

The third annual Tutelo Homecoming Festival recently welcomed back the Cayuga, Tutelo, and Kindred Indian Nations, and the Saponi tribes to Ithaca. Held in Tutelo Park in the Town of Ithaca, the festival was full of people mingling among stalls offering crafts for sale from many different Native American nations.

Watch video provided by the Ithaca Journal:

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The festival also featured interactive performances and demonstrations, teachings about Great Law, cornhusk doll making, storytelling, and medicine plant walks. Ithaca College, Cornell University, and other organizations had booths advertising volunteer opportunities, environmental information, and tribe activity participation. 

A large tent held some of the most popular parts of the festival, including traditional flute music, and a storyteller, who entertained the audience with stories about animals, the creation of man, the peace tree, and lacrosse -- a sport invented by the Native American tribes living around the St. Lawrence River in New York and Ontario, and spread by the Huron and the Iroquois.

A big audience favorite was the dancing. The Haudenosaunee Singers and Dancers performed a smoke dance, a couples dance, a women's dance, and dances based on animals such as trout and alligators.

See more dancing:

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Throughout, the audience was encouraged to partcipate as best as they could. The whole fesitval was a wonderful event that gave the Ithaca community a lesson in Native American history and culture.

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