Ocmulgee Celebration Educates Visitors About Native American Culture
Thousands of people including several Native American tribes gathered in Central Georgia to celebrate Indian culture on Saturday at the Ocmulgee Indian Celebration. The two day event brings different nations together in order to educate people about different tribes around the nation.
"It's a way to be able to teach the public about my race of people," Cherokee educator and tribe member Diamond Brown said.
Brown sat in front of his Indian camp and told stories about his people to the many visitors attending the celebration this weekend at The Ocmulgee Indian Mounds.
"I mean what better way to learn than see it in like living history."
More than 20 tribes brought their history to life on Saturday as they kicked off the two day celebration which some said is a homecoming for different tribal groups to meet and educate people about their cultures.
"The differences of the tribes are tremendous,” Go Native Now educator Laura Alcorn said. “We're not all the same. Our hair color, our eye color, the way we lived, and our lifestyle our languages are all different as well. So we like to be able to teach each other the differences with that."
More than 9,000 people came out on Saturday which event organizers said was a huge increase compared to past years. They said some new attractions may be drawing people from around the region.
"Stick ball we pushed quite a bit as one of the new things this year. We also have a wattle and daub house. That is a structure that the original Creeks lived in back during the mound building period."
Besides showcasing their old style living, the different tribes also gave people a glimpse of their unique cultures through dances. Some of the tribes even invited the public to participate as a way to better understand the message of the dances. Kids and adults also participated in pottery making, face painting and learning how to start a fire. Multiple vendors sold Native American goods including arrowheads and bow and arrows for children. While the event is meant to educate people about all Native Americans, the most important message Brown wants people to take away from this weekend are the connections all people have to Mother Nature.
"We all live on this earth together and my message is if we all can take better care of the earth, than the earth will take better care of us."
The celebration will continue on Sunday starting at 10 a.m.