West indian culture

Native Americans share their culture at a festival in Doylestown

DOYLESTOWN, PA – Native Americans of Bucks County shared their traditions and culture with the public at the first-ever First Peoples Festival on June 11.

The event, organized by Arrows 4 Native Americans of Bucks County, took place on the grounds of Pebble Hill Church in Doylestown Township, where vendors lined the lawn and a drum beat filled the air.

The day opened with a powerfully moving ceremony led by Gentlemoon Chef Chuck DeMund who paid tribute to the four directions, the sun, the stars and the moon.

Cynthia Greb, the President of Arrows, also introduced the gathering to Arrows and shared information about the organization, which strives to educate about Indigenous cultures and issues and raise funds to support Indigenous initiatives.

Under a large tent, sheltered from the occasional raindrops falling from the sky, Gentlemoon Chief Chuck DeMund led his drumming band – the Itchy Dog Singers – in a series of Native American powwow songs and chants.

Just outside the tent, Ellen DeMund was demonstrating the intricate art of beadwork, capturing tiny beads with the tip of a needle and adding them to her beautiful creations.

Nearby, Barbara “Bluejay” Michalski of Penndel led a series of Native American games and crafts in the kids’ zone where children tossed corn cobs through hoops as they rode. The corn cobs represented arrows and the hoops were deer.

“Traditionally the boys were the hunters, so they would teach them games so they could develop their hand-eye coordination,” Bluejay explained. “It’s good to have events like this so we can share our culture with others,” she said.

At a nearby table, donated socks and shoes piled up as a steady stream of people brought in donations for the Lakota tribes of South Dakota.

Holding the table was Cynthia Greb, the president of Arrows, who will make the pilgrimage across the country later this year to deliver donations to the Pine Ridge Reservation where 97% of the population lives below the poverty line.

Oglala Lakota County, located in Pine Ridge, is the poorest county in the country. In the past, Arrows has donated clothing, coats and other necessary items.

Greb was delighted by the shoe and sock donations piling up on the table in front of her, expressing her thanks to everyone who contributed.

With Greb was JoAnne Wolke, of Standing Rock. She was there to represent the Lakota. His great-great-great-great-uncle was a Sitting Bull performer.

Throughout the afternoon, many listened to the music of the Brother Sun Band while enjoying freshly made tacos at Andale Latino Grill in Feasterville. Levittown Scout Troop 168 was also there to deliver hot dogs and sodas to hungry guests.

The afternoon ended with a beautiful and moving Native American “Round Dance”, which brought together people of all faiths, colors and ages, on the wide lawn in front of the church on the Edison-Furlong Road.

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