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powwow

Photo by Marc J. Kawanishi

Native American Heritage Honored through
Tradition, Ceremony

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, ECU hosted the annual fall powwow on campus Nov. 18. Pictured above, the event included traditional Native American dancing, singing, artwork and food. The powwow was sponsored by Epsilon Chi Nu fraternity and Sigma Omicron Epsilon sorority.

Additional events honoring Native American heritage included a presentation by Dr. Linwood Watson (Haliwa-Saponi), medical director of Pembroke Family Practice Center in Pembroke and alumni of the ECU Brody School of Medicine, Nov. 13; a discussion on herbal medicine by Mary Sue Locklear (Lumbee), Nov. 15 and a smudging ceremony (at right), Nov. 14.

Participants in the smudging ceremony, held at the Brody Medical Sciences Building, included Charlene Locklear (left) and Adrian Jacobs, both medical students at ECU.

Smudging is a way to pray and cleanse a home and certain objects using burning sage and sweet grass, Jacobs explained.

“The idea is that the smoke carries your prayer to the creator,” said Jacobs, who is a member of the Lumbee tribe, as is Locklear.

The smudging event was sponsored by ECU’s chapter of the Association of Native American Medical Students. ECU has the largest ANAMS chapter in the United States.

“Being Native American is something special,” Locklear said. “You have a relationship with fellow Native American people. We’ve been brought up to carry on traditions. It would be a shame for it to die and (future) Native Americans not know where we came from.”

smudging1
Photos by Cliff Hollis

smudging2

7/29/08
This page originally appeared in the Dec. 8, 2006 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at http://www.ecu.edu/news/poe/Arch.cfm.