This is my photo collection from the Nansemond Indian Pow Wow held at Mattanock Town on August 19, 2017. Kay Oxendine was the mistress of ceremonies with Dalton Lynch as arena director and Tatanka Gibson and Sierra Locklear as head dance staff. War Paint (Northern Drum) and Smokey River (Southern Drum) were the host drums for the event.
It is worth noting the strong presence of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe (among event leadership, singers, and dancers) at the Nansemond Indian Pow Wow. The two tribes share common ancestry and the Haliwa-Saponi, who received state recognition in North Carolina in 1965, have been supportive to the Nansemond since the tribe’s formal organization in the 1980s.
In addition to singing and dancing at the center of the pow wow, attendees could see signs of Mattanock Town off in the distance. Four (out of a planned ten) dwellings (called “Yeehawkans“) have been constructed on site through a collaborative effort between the Nansemond tribe and local Boy Scout Troop 16. Lee Lockamy, current Nansemond Chief and historian at Old Dominion University, began the plan to construct the Yeehawkans on tribal land along the Nansemond River in 2014. Hunter Ward, an Eagle Scout, continued the project with the support of 50 other boy scouts and was awarded 2016 Eagle Scout Project of the Year by the Colonial Council of Virginia – Boy Scouts of America for its successful completion.
This year, in addition to attending the Nansemond Indian Pow Wow, I visited Indiana United Methodist Church. The church site is quaint and everything from the building to the sign outside appears the same as old photos I have seen. In a small grassy area in front of the church there is a Historic Landmark for the site of the Nansemond Indian Public School that was in use from 1890 to 1928. The memorial was dedicated on July 28, 1985 which was the summer of the year the Nansemond tribe received state recognition in Virginia.
Each year the Nansemond Indian Pow Wow has a slightly different atmosphere. This year represented a year of transition as Ronald “Lee” Lockamy enters his public role as Nansemond Chief (with Samuel M. “Flying Eagle” Bass as Assistant Chief) and other familiar faces shift out of the spotlight. As a member of the academic community and the Virginia Indian Advisory Board, Chief Lee Lockamy is continuing in the legacy of historic preservation left by former Chief Oliver Perry. As I write new articles about Nansemond history, I will continue to try to balance the story with recent Nansemond news.
|2017 Nansemond Indian Tribal Council|
|Chief||Ronald Lee Lockamy|
|Assistant Chief||Samuel M. “Flying Eagle” Bass|
|Chief Emeritus||Earl L. “Warchief” Bass|
|Tribal Council||Aaron “Silent Thunder” Bass|
|Brian C. Bass|
|Charles L. Bass|
|Robert “Buddy” Leary|