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Beginning at noon with a "Grand Entry" of dancers into Sever Quad, this Saturday's third annual Harvard University Powwow will commemorate the first and only graduate of Harvard's Indian College with a celebration of American Indian culture.
In addition to the scores of drummers and dancers from Indian reservations across the country, vendors selling traditional food and art objects will also be included in the program, which Pablo H. Padilla '97 called a "gigantic social gathering," for the entire campus.
"It's just your average kind of powwow," said Annabel L. Bradford '98, "But it's the best kind of powwow, so I guess it's not really average at all."
The event is dedicated to Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck, Class of 1665, the only graduate of the Indian College, established in the very early years of the College to educate local American Indians.
A plaque in Cheeshahteaumuck's memory on the side of Matthews Hall will be unveiled during the powwow.
"We've been trying to do this for a while, but it's been a long process--to get something put up in Harvard Yard is very tough," Padilla said. "This is a big accomplishment."
Susan Power '83, whose essay on Cheeshateaumuck was part of a newsletter on multiculturalism sent to all first-years last summer, will give a reading at 2 p.m. that will shift at least part of the powwow into Widener Library.
"This is a great way to bring the community together and show who we are and what we do," Bradford said. "I also love the powwow because I love to dance."
"All drums and dancers welcome," says the event's flyer, and Brian S. Anderson '00 said that powwows like this one commonly include a "round dance" open to spectators.
"It's a pretty basic dance--you don't really need any practice or skill," Anderson said. "Definitely, everyone can come out and join the dancers as long as they are respectful of what's going on."
Anderson said that American Indian blankets would be raffled off, and that the event would bring together American Indian students from schools around Boston and from as far away as Cornell.
"It's just a gathering of native cultures and native peoples to express themselves," he said. "It's a social event for sharing Indian culture."
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