By: Shirley Stone
Saturday, November 19th and Sunday, November 20th from 9am to 5pm the Santa Rosa Creek Indian Tribe celebrated their 25th Annual Pow Wow. This was their very first Powwow that was held at their tribal ground located at 4750 Willard Norris Rd., Milton FL.
November is the Native American month that the Creek Indian Tribes from all across America gather together and remember their heritage.
Tribal Chief “Thomas E. “Blues Eyes” Nichols was born in Atmore, Alabama, was granted minority status in the State of Florida. His ancestral dates back to the Creek Indians who fought alongside the Americans in the War of 1812. His people were known as the Wind Clan (Elliott/Ward) said they have been blessed to be back on their tribal land after their land had been progressively taken away by Europeans, along with their possessions and their way of life.
Most of their ancestors were wiped out from the plagues; the biggest of the diseases was smallpox which killed hundreds of thousands of Native Americans.
Until a few years ago many Native American Indians, who did not know of their Native American Heritage were still afraid to let it be known publicly. Then it was confirmed in 1990 through an archeological dig that Native Americans lived as long as six thousand years ago on this location in Pace, now known as Floridatown Park. For centuries they lived in log homes, called long houses, and developed and cultivated track land as they raised maize (corn) and other vegetables while there were vast supplies of fish and game from nearby water. Along with their own forms of art, music and recreation for their families Chief Blue Eyes stated “this is why we celebrate the driving purpose of this Tribe to revive the knowledge that Native Americans are still proud of their heritage and culture”.
The Pow Wow that was held on these two historical days displayed the heritage and culture of the Creek people as Native American Dancers dressed in the Native Headdress and garments performed cultural dances by the young and old. These ceremonial dances represented religious and social meaning for protection-courage-strength. These were stories of origin that had been passed down from generation to generation over the years.
There were displays of their Creek Indian culture and historical information. There were storytellers who shared stories of years passed. There were a variety of vendors who displayed Native American Jewelry, art books, pottery and clothing. There was plenty of food with specialties known as Indian Fry bread sprinkled with buttery sugar and sweet roasted mouthwatering Indian corn. The ceremonial tribal removal of the flags was an endearing moment for all as everyone remembered a part of history that should never be forgotten.