Plaquemine Pow Wow set for this weekend

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

PLAQUEMINE - American Indians from across the country will gather to compete in various dance competitions, along with drumming and singing, at the Plaquemine Pow Wow on Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7.

Adults, teens and youths will compete in dance categories such as traditional, fancy, buckskin and cloth. The event will include a Grand Entry and gourd sessions on both Saturday and Sunday.

 The City of Plaquemine, the Iberville Museum Association, and the Louisiana Indian Education Association have joined forces to present the Pow Wow at the Iberville Museum at 57735 Main Street.

The event will also include American Indian arts and crafts and food. The event is free and open to the public.

The event will coincide with the opening of the “American Indians of Iberville” exhibit at the Iberville Museum in which artifacts from the Houma and Chitimacha Indian tribes, along with artifacts from local American Indians, will be on display. The exhibit will highlight the journey of American Indians to Louisiana and their influence on the history and culture of Iberville Parish, and will open on Saturday, April 6, at 9:30 a.m.

The schedule of the Pow Wow for Saturday is 11 a.m. Gourd Session; 1 p.m. Grand Entry; 4 p.m. Break; 5:30 p.m. Gourd Session; and 7 p.m. Grand Entry. On Sunday, the Pow Wow schedule is 10 a.m. Gourd Session; 11 a.m. Break; 12:30 p.m. Grand Entry; 4 p.m. closing.

The earliest written recording of Indians in Iberville dates to 1700, when an expedition noted the Bayougoula and Mougoulacha Indian tribes. Other tribes that had villages in Iberville included the Taensa, Houma and the Chitimacha. All of the tribes had disappeared from the parish by the late 1800s due to Indian in-fighting, death, intermarriage and migration.

American Indian presence in Iberville Parish is evidenced by the many Indian mounds and middens scattered throughout the parish.  The better known mounds in Iberville Parish are located near Rosedale, where in 1840 Austin Woolfolk built his home on a large mound, naming his plantation Mound Plantation; on Bayou Sorrell, south side one mile from Lower Grand River (used extensively for burial purposes); on Australia Plantation located six miles above Plaquemine on the Mississippi River, and in Bayou Goula.  Many artifacts were taken from the Bayou Goula mound during a 1940 excavation, including bones of Indians, dogs, bears, also flint knives, stone axes, pottery, other crude instruments and numerous brightly colored beads,

In preparation for the PowWow, Plaquemine artist Karen Wilbert Kirby designed and painted the official event logo. Kirby researched and incorporated elements of Iberville Parish history in creating the logo: the persimmon fruit  (Plaquemine is the American Indian term for persimmon), cypress for the cypress industry; corn stalks for the Chitamacha and Bayou Goula Indians who were farmers; and the black bear of the Atchafalaya Basin.

Those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Sponsors for the events are: Gold Sponsors: The Dow Chemical Co. and Axiall, Bronze Sponsor: SNF Flopam; Friends of the Pow Wow – A Wilbert Sons, Perry Verret Investments, LLC, and Black Stallion.