Winterville Mounds Celebrates American Indian Culture

Native American Days, the annual program at Winterville Mounds celebrating American Indian culture, will be held November 3–6. The event features traditional dances, stories, and games, and crafts and foods will be for sale. Last year more than 6,000 students and adults attended the four-day festival.

This year will feature the Choctaw Elderly Dancers, Grass Dancer Cocoa Creppel of the Houma Nation, and master of ceremonies Lewis Johnson of the Seminole Nation playing cane and cedar flutes. Valerie Hanks-Goetz of the Muskogee Nation and Teresa Horn of the Cherokee Nation will tell stories. Mandy White and Andrea Schuhnann will give programs on local wildlife.

The 2010 Choctaw Indian Princess, Mahilh Rene Vaughn, will make a special appearance on Friday at noon. Part of Vaughn’s duties include educating people about her tribe, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

On Saturday the 2008 Native American Music Award winners Injunuity will perform at 1 p.m. Composed of pianist and native flutist Brad Clonch and guitarist Jeff Carpenter, Injunity plays a blend of modern and traditional music.

There will be face-painting and bead stringing for children, a primitive weapon's demonstration area, and stickball games open to all comers. Booths will once again be set up where the Native American skill of flint-knapping will be demonstrated.

Native American Days is free of charge. The event begins at 9 a.m. and runs through 4 p.m. each day. School groups should call ahead for a complete schedule of events when booking a field trip.

Winterville Mounds is a prehistoric ceremonial center built by a Native American civilization that thrived from about A.D 1000 to 1450. Located at 2415 Highway 1 North, Greenville, the 42-acre park is open 8 a.m.–5 p.m. every day; the museum is open 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat. and Sun. 1:30–5 p.m. Free of charge. For more information call 662-334-4684.

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