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American Indian Heritage Celebration returns to NC Museum of History for 24th year

Posted November 18, 2019 6:49 p.m. EST

Courtesy: NC Museum of History

— The N.C. Museum of History will host the 24th annual American Indian Heritage Celebration this weekend.

The event, which recognizes National American Indian Heritage Month, is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23, at the downtown Raleigh museum. Members of all eight state-recognized tribes will share their history and culture during this popular festival, according to a press release. Admission is free.

The festival, which stretches across the museum and outside on the Bicentennial Plaza, will feature more than 100 presenters, including drum groups, dancers, craftspeople, storytellers, scholars and artists. For the kids, there will be a variety of hands-on activities, including a bow-and-arrow shooting range with blowguns and corncob darts and pumpkin-seed jewelry making. A don't miss activity is the Grand Entry and roll call of tribes and organizations at noon. It will be accompanied by drum groups and hundreds of dancers dressed in colorful regalia.

“Each year’s celebration brings something familiar and something new,” says Emily Grant, youth programs coordinator and festival organizer, in a press release. “From demonstrations of centuries-old crafts to discussions of current issues and what it means to be American Indian in 2019, the event will be part family reunion, part pageantry and performance, and part celebration of the resiliency and energy of community.”

Other highlights include:

  • A simulated archaeology dig
  • Tsalagi (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians) and Tutelo (Haliwa-Saponi) language lessons
  • Demonstrations of centuries-old crafts such as pottery, beadwork, finger weaving, cordage, and dugout canoe burning.

This year, the event will include some new accessibility options to visitors, including a cool-down room in the museum's "The Story of North Carolina" exhibit.