Thirteen local children from Clarke County ages 9 – 12 are invited to help bring in the harvest during The Gathering, a Native American Indian / Virginia Gourd Festival, being held midday on Saturday Oct. 31 and Sunday Nov. 1 at the Clarke County Fairgrounds located at 890 W. Main St. Berryville, VA 22611.
“We need help from farmers, gardeners and vineyards to help select nine more children and provide local harvests of fruit, vegetables, corn or even a basket of eggs,” said René Locklear White executive director and elder for this non-profit event and Native American Indian living in Clarke County. “This effort helps reconnect children to the land. Helps bring back tradition. Helps honor our indigenous. Helps remind us to keep our food sacred. Helps commemorate Thanksgiving. And helps us all celebrate humanity.”
Four families have already registered. Several farms have donated crops for decorations. But more help is needed.
“We have openings for five more boys and five more girls,” according to The Gathering elder Sheila Hansen a local Shawnee Indian and Clarke County resident. “Native American Indian tradition calls for 13 children, 7 boys and 6 girls, to bring in the harvest.”
Farmers and parents can choose their own child or grandchild or sponsor someone else’s child; and provide the produce or basket item for the child to carry. The next nine to call and register will be considered for this year’s “13 Children to Bring in the Harvest” during this traditional Native American Harvest Dance ceremony. There is no fee for children to participate.
The 13 children selected should arrive to the check-in point at the Clarke County Fairgrounds to receive instructions and practice the ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 30 at 11:00 am and Sunday Nov. 1 at 12:00 noon to participate in this historic event. Parents must be prepared to have children be available for the duration of the dance ceremony that ends at 4:00 pm each day.
Each child along with two adults/parents receive free admission to The Gathering on both Saturday and Sunday.
The Gathering is an educational, celebration of agri-“cultural” with traditional Native American Indian harvest dance (hosting dancers and singers coming in from the four directions); 14th annual Virginia Gourd Festival (including 45 gourd classes); Kidz Harvest Fest (with close to 300 children pre-registered); traditional cuisine (of Indian fry bread, fish and turkey tacos and sunchoke roots); living history exhibits and trading post vendors (with more than 60 vendors registered); military veteran and uniformed services tribute and much more.
Register by calling 540-554-8730. More information about The Gathering and full schedule of events and menu please visit www.HarvestGathering.org or Facebook “The Gathering.”
Audio and video of The Gathering is being recorded for historical purposes. Close to 10,000 people are expected to attend the historic event.
The number 13 is found in nature and has historical significance in indigenous cultures around the globe. To name a few there are 13 full moons in a year, 13 spaces on the back of the turtle and 13 rows on a natural ear of corn.
In Catholicism 13 is associated with Saints and in Judaism the age of maturity. There were thirteen people at Jesus Christ's last supper. In some games there are 13 players on the field. There are thirteen stars on the Great Seal of the United States and thirteen stripes on the American flag. The number 13 is also a Fibonacci number and part of the golden ratio in nature. Thirteen is the sum of Fibonacci numbers five and eight. It is part of a simple pattern, but it appears to be part of a kind of built-in universal numbering system. Each Fibonacci number is the sum of the previous two numbers.
There are 13 petals in ragwort, corn marigold and cineraria. Daisies have 13, 21, 34, 55 or 89 petals. The number of petals in a flower consistently follows the Fibonacci sequence. The head of a flower is also subject to Fibonaccian processes. Sunflowers. Pinecones. Fruits and Vegetables. Branches. Animal bodies. Shells. Spiral Galaxies. Hurricanes. And even faces follow this golden ratio in nature.
In Native American Indian culture there are phrases that speak to how, “we are all related.”
Everyone is invited to The Gathering. Admission is only $5; kids 4 and under free
Embrace the Spirit