Pow Wow 2019


The Pow Wow Native American Celebration will take place Saturday, October 26th 2019 Here at the South Central Fairgrounds. We hope you will mark your calendars and come join us.

Admission - To Be Determined.

The South Central Fairgrounds welcomes Native Americans and others to celebrate the culture, history and contributions that the tribes have made to our history and our area. All tribes, Native American dancers and visiting drummers are invited to take part. 

The history of Native Americans is long, distinguished and varied. Long before settlers arrived in the New World from Europe, Native Americans had already developed their own culture, lifestyles and heritage.

Settlers first learned of the Occoneechee tribe in 1650 when an Indian guide told explorer Richard Bland about a native tribe living on an island near present day Clarksville.

Although no one knows exactly when the Occoneechee arrived in the area, the site they settled on was a convenient point on the “Great Trading Path,” a main trading route for the Native American tribes in the region and beyond. The Occoneechee were in a position to become the premier traders along the route. The tribe became powerful, extremely well-known and prosperous.

The first recorded contact between the Occoneechee and new settlers happened in 1670 when German explorer and doctor John Lederer visited the island. Three years later, James Needham and Gabriel Arthur also visited the island and recorded their impressions in letters.

According to all reports, Occoneechee Island provided an ideal location for the tribe. Not only was the island located on the main trading route, but the island had abundant wildlife for food, and the natives grew food and fruit. As an island, it was also easy to defend from unfriendly natives in the area

Unfortunately, relations between the natives and settlers were tense in the Virginia colony in the 1670s, and settlers felt the colonial government, under Gov. William Berkeley, was not tough enough on the natives. The matter came to a head after the governor refused to retaliate for a series of native attacks on settlers along the western frontier.

After their requests were denied, a group of settlers led by Nathaniel Bacon headed out until they came to Occoneechee Island. The settlers convinced the tribe to attack the Susquehannock tribe. After the attack, Bacon’s group showed its gratitude to the tribe by waging an attack on its former allies. Men, women and children were killed, and the tribe was largely decimated.

By 1714, the remaining members of the tribe moved and joined the Tutelo, Saponi and other Siouan peoples living in what is now Brunswick County, Va., near Fort Christanna. By that time, the total number of Siouan had been reduced to only around 600 people.

Fort Christanna closed in 1717, and the natives left the area in 1740, moving north to seek protection with the Iroquois. The tribes largely disappeared from the area and the local history.

Researchers say that during the middle of the 18th century, Saponi were once more living in North Carolina.

In more recent times, those of Native American descent have once more reclaimed their heritage, and the Occoneechee band of the Spain Nation is now said to number around 700. Since 2002, the tribe has been officially recognized by the state of North Carolina.

Taking pride in their history, heritage and culture, the tribe owns property in Alamance County, N.C., where a tribal center is in development to preserve and promote their story.

*For more information pleasecontact us at (434) 917-1116.