Sussex County Delaware

Nanticoke Indians Annual Pow-Wow ...

Nanticoke Indians
Celebrate Heritage
Nanticoke Indians Pow-Wow

Photos: Members of the Nanticoke Indian tribe perform rituals on Sunday, Sept. 12, 1999, to bless the sacred ground they hold their Pow-Wow on each year.

Blessing the Sacred GroundEach year, members of the Nanticoke Indians gather with the public off Route 24 near Millsboro for the tribe's annual Pow-Wow.

Part of the two-day celebration of Nanticoke heritage is the blessing of the sacred ground (shown in photos) the Nanticokes use to perform many of their ancient tribal customs and rituals during the Pow-Wow.

The tribe once had thousands of members in Maryland and Delaware but in the mid-1700s, was displaced by Colonial settlers up the Susquehanna River to the Iriquois nation.

The tribe was rechartered in Delaware in 1922 as the Nanticoke Indian Association of Delaware after being reorganized into a viable tribe with the assistance of University of Pennsylvania anthropologist Frank G. Speck.

Pow-Wows were held from 1922-1936 but then dropped for more than 40 years. They were revived in 1977 and have been held every year since. The tribe's chief is Kenneth S. "Red Deer" Clark. Assistant chief and master of ceremonies is Charles C. "Little Owl" Clark IV.

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