Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Festival offers closer look at Native American culture

by MARGARET HARPER mharper@indianagazette.net on August 14, 2013 10:55 AM

The 15th annual Thunder Mountain Lenape Nation festival will showcase the culture of Native Americans through dancing, art, crafts and food this weekend.

Pat Selinger, council member and director of the powwow, said festival-goers can expect vendors and dancers who have traveled from all over country.

A featured performer this year is Mana Polynesia, which will entertain with dances promoting Pacific Island culture. The group performed last year and was a hit, Selinger said.

There will also be “a wide range of native food and handmade arts and crafts,” she said. There are new vendors this year, and food includes specialties such as turtle soup.

The festival begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, with the popular grand entry at noon, when the dancing begins. Popular dances include the veterans’ dance and children’s Candy Dance.

“We’re a very interactive powwow,” Selinger said.

“We invite people at times to come into the dance circle. When they come, they don’t have to be just spectators. There are things to do.”

The Medicine Wheel programs have also been expanded this year, educating festival-goers regarding the culture of medicinal plants.

“People enjoy that as well,” she said.

She encouraged people to attend.

“It celebrates our culture,” she said. “It’s very unique to our area. I think that is kind of important.”

The festival is held at 236 Skyline Drive, Saltsburg. Parking is free. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children ages 12 and younger.

It runs until 8 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday and is held rain or shine.

About 5,000 people are expected to attend, Selinger said.

For more information, visit www.thundermtlenape.org and on Facebook at facebook.com/thundermtlenape.

 

 

 

 

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Thunder Mountain Lenape Nation festival schedule
August 14, 2013 10:54 AM
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