Beginning Monday, April 11, 2011, USC Lancaster’s Native American Studies Program will host its sixth annual Native American Studies Week. Since 2005, USCL has hosted a week of events each spring focused on the rich history and cultural traditions of South Carolina’s indigenous peoples. This year’s program includes screenings of films; lectures on Native American history, archaeology, and powwow culture; a day of storytelling; and an exhibit of Native American art from the Carolinas.
The week kicks off on Monday, April 11th, with a focus on Native American powwows. These Native American gatherings, which have grown in popularity in recent years, feature drumming and dancing contests, traditional regalia, and a host of other activities celebrating Native American culture. A number of these traditions will be discussed and demonstrated in USCL’s Carole Ray Dowling Community Center. Elon University professor and author of A Dancing People: Powwow Culture on the Southern Plains, Clyde Ellis will discuss the origin and history of powwows. He will be joined by performers fresh from the weekend’s Catawba Powwow in Rock Hill. Monday evening will include a screening of the award-winning film Tap Out, which explores environmental, economic, philosophical and spiritual issues surrounding the Catawba River from a Native and non-Native perspective, and an exhibit opening featuring Cherokee and Catawba Indian artwork.
Archaeology, history, and art will be the topics of discussions and presentations Tuesday, April 12th, as archaeologists Johann Sawyer of USC and Dennis Blanton of the Fernbank Museum of Natural History and Paul Grady, Professor of History at USC Upstate, examine pre-colonial and colonial history in the Carolinas and Georgia, and SC State Museum Art Curator Paul Matheny, ETV filmmaker Lynn Cornfoot, and Catawba potter Margaret Robbins discuss traditional, folk, and outsider art in South Carolina. Cornfoot’s film, Uncommon Folk, which spotlights six diverse South Carolina artists, all traditional or self-taught, will be screened at 5:30 pm.
The history of Catawba women will be highlighted the morning of Wednesday, April 13th, with a lecture by Catawba Indian and historian Brooke Bauer. Later that day, leaders from South Carolina’s various tribal groups will be on campus to discuss issues important to their respective communities, and at 2:30 pm, the campus will host a public meeting of the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs Native American Advisory Committee.
Events conclude on Thursday with a day focused on storytelling traditions appropriate for all ages. Storytellers from several Native American communities will share traditional myths, legends, and tales, as well as personal and family stories from 10:30am to 3pm in USCL’s Carole Ray Dowling Community Room.
USC Lancaster’s Native American Studies Week events are free and open to the public. USCL’s Native American Studies Program is supported, in part, by grants from Duke Energy; the Humanities Council, SC; and the South Carolina Arts Commission.
Schedule for USCL’s Native American Studies Week:
Mon., April 11:
10am – Clyde Ellis, Elon University: “Powwow Traditions”, Carole Ray Dowling Community Center
11am – Powwow Performances, Carole Ray Dowling Community Center
5:30pm – Screening of Tap Out Commentary by director Virginia Friedman, Bradley Multipurpose Room
6:30pm – Exhibit Opening, Bradley Multipurpose Room
Tues., April 12:
9:30am – Johann Sawyer, USC: “Mississippian Cosmology”, Stevens Auditorium
1pm – Dennis Blanton, Fernbank Museum: “Spanish-Indian Contact in South-Central Georgia”, Stevens Auditorium
2:30pm – Paul Grady, USC Upstate: “Spanish-English Encounters in Early Carolina.”
5:30pm – Screening of Uncommon Folk, Panel Discussion with Lynn Cornfoot, ETV; Paul Matheny, SC State Museum; and Margaret Robbins, Catawba potter, Bradley 120
Wed., April 13:
11am – Brooke Bauer, UNC Chapel Hill: “Catawba Women”, Bradley 120
noon – Roundtable with South Carolina Tribal Leaders,
USCL Picnic Shelter
1:30 pm Public Meeting of the SC Commission for Minority Affairs Native American Advisory Committee, Bradley 120
Thurs., April 14:
10:30am – Storytelling
3pm – Carole Ray Dowling Community Center
For more information, contact Dr. Stephen Criswell, Director of Native American Studies, at 803/313-7108 or by e-mail at (email@example.com). For updates and additions, visit (http://usclancaster.sc.edu).