Native American history and culture will be on full display in Harmar this weekend
Native American history and culture will be on display in Harmar this weekend.
The first Western Pennsylvania Native American Association Native American Gathering begins at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Syria Shrine.
The gathering will be part celebration and part history lesson, according to its organizers.
“We want to be able to teach our culture to everyone who doesn't know it,” said Al Collins, whose Native American name is Coyoteheart. “We hope people have fun and learn.”
The gathering is being sponsored in conjunction with The Hillbilly Clan, a group within the Syria Shriners whose lone goal is to benefit the 22 Syria Shriners Children's Hospitals. “Normally, we don't charge anything for our functions, but we're charging $5 a carload for this,” said Collins, who is also a member of the Hillbilly Clan. “All the money goes to kids. That's why we're charging.”
The event will run Saturday and Sunday, beginning each day with a Grand Entry and ending with a closing circle at 6 p.m.
“People can stay as long as they want after 6, but all the actual closing ceremony will take place then,” Collins said.
Folks who attend event will be entertained by drum circles, a Native American dance competition, food and craft booths and a traveling museum.
“It's a living museum,” said White Panther, a chief of the Lenape people, who travels the country with the museum. “It's set-up with artifacts from al over the East.”
One of White Panther's most prized artifacts is a tea block that he claims was in one of cases of tea thrown into Boston Harbor, at the Boston Tea Party in 1773.
White Panther said that he and other Native Americans will be in full regalia at the gathering.
“It's called regalia,” he said, pointing to his Native American clothing. “It's not a costume.
“When you wear a costume, you use it to disguise who you are,” he said. “Our regalia tells the story of who we are.”
For the members of the Hillbilly Clan, the gathering holds a deeper meaning.
“Anything we can do to help children, we're all for,” said Lou Azzolini, a member of the Hillbilly Clan. “We really appreciate this.
“We're 100 percent behind them, and are really glad they're here.”
Azzolini said he hopes the gathering shows unity, not only between the two different organizations, but among everyone.
“No one's above each other,” he said. “There has to be respect.”
R.A. Monti is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Two charged with selling heroin that killed Lower Burrell woman
- Drivers survive head-on crash on Route 356 in Allegheny Township
- Apollo targets owners who fail to maintain vacant properties
- Snow sculptors have a ball with Iceburgh, Einstein
- Student suicide brings issue of bullying to fore in New Kensington-Arnold
- Harrison mom, boyfriend charged in abuse of young boys
- Leechburg man charged with molesting girls, watching child pornography
- Brackenridge nonprofit organization dreams BIG
- Alle-Kiski Valley deemed medically underserved
- Increasing use of cameras in region aids cops, worries civil rights watchdogs
- Eagles again flourishing in Western Pa.