These are a sampling of the questions children and their parents asked us Native American Indians and volunteers during Kidz Fest this weekend along with our answers:
Q. Do Indians wear hats?
A. Yes, see that Indian over there, his name is Andrew Tyler and he's wearing a hat and he's also a military veteran. I am an Indian too and I like wearing hats.
Q. Is it hard to kill a buffalo?
A. Yes. Buffalo are very fast. Faster than dogs.
Q. What do Indians do?
A. Indians protect the Earth.
Q. Did Indians kill the Pilgrims?
A. Yes Indians killed pilgrims, but a lot of pilgrims killed lot of Indians. A lot of Indians also helped the pilgrims.
Q. What tribe are you from?
A. (We each answered with our own tribal affiliation)
Q. What tribe is this song from?
A. It is an inter-tribal song, where we all can dance together.
More than 400 families asked questions, danced, played games, heard stories, studied Indian maps, ate cookies and talked with us at our Native American Indian booth #9 at KidzFest on the Old Town walking mall in Winchester this weekend.
In between the rain showers, children spun a wheel filled with options like "Learn and Indian word, Ask and Indian a Question, Learn and Indian Story, Learn an Indian Dance, Sing an Indian Song, Win a prize or a cookie."
Little boys whom you would never expect to dance in public, were eager to dance with Indian people. Many parents seemed a little reluctant at first to talk to us, but their children rushed up to spin the wheel, learn new words and listen to the drum.
All visitors to our booth expressed interest in attending the Indian Village Sept. 17-18, 2016 at the Bluemont Fair and The Gathering scheduled for Oct. 2017.
According to our Facebook event posting 806 people were interested and 155 reported they attended the Kidz Fest. The Facebook event posting reached a record 49,000 people.
Volunteer Ashley Creek Chickasaw said she told the butterfly story at least 120 times, each time passing out small butterflies she made by hand.
Volunteers Liz Ortiz and Penny Robb Stone danced and sang songs with the children, as Andrew Tyler, who drove six hours to volunteer, played and sang with his Indian drum. Chris Anderson took photos while Sue Peoples and Rene' Locklear White helped people understand the pre-contact map and passed out prizes. Tracey Pitcock and her three children Tiffany, Shawnee & Joey along with Cindy Mann-Tenney and Sue's husband Mitch Peoples, arrived just in time to help talk with hundreds of people passing by and then tear down between rain showers.
Special thanks to the Bluemont Fair committee volunteers Cynthia Morris and Jen Stone and their families who baked dozens of cookies for the children and volunteers. Thanks to Dianne Waddell for helping make extra butterflies. And big thank you to Dario Savarese with Full Circle Marketing who invited us to participate in their Kidz Fest event.
And a BIG thank you to Mary F. for all your work in the background.
Embrace the Spirit