SOURCE: Jamestown 2007

July 16, 2007 10:11 ET

Free Family Event Highlights Dancing, Food and Crafts of 15 American Indian Tribes

Virginia Indians Host Tribes From Across the Nation as Part of Jamestown Commemoration

WILLIAMSBURG, VA--(Marketwire - July 16, 2007) - The dancing, food and crafts of America's original cultures will be showcased during a free festival July 21-22 at Hampton Coliseum. The American Indian Intertribal Cultural Festival offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compare and contrast Indian cultures as Virginia's eight state-recognized tribes host seven tribes from across the nation. The festival is a Signature Event of America's 400th Anniversary, the 18-month long commemoration observing the 1607 founding of America's first permanent English-speaking settlement at Jamestown.

"Never before have such a variety of Indian Nations gathered in Virginia for a celebration of cultures," said Ken Adams, chief of Virginia's Upper Mattaponi tribe. "The Intertribal Festival is a unique exposition of a common heritage that promotes educational awareness about Indian cultures in Virginia and throughout the United States."

Participants from all 15 tribes will enter in a "Grand Entry" dance circle, featuring a spectacular dance and drumming exposition taking place each day at noon. The term "drum" refers to the drum itself as well as the drummers. Often called "the heartbeat of the People" in honor of past generations, the drum sets the pace for the dancers.

Visiting tribes include the Jemez Pueblo (New Mexico), Lumbee (North Carolina), the Three Affiliated Tribes - Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara (North Dakota), Nez Perce (Idaho), Osage (Oklahoma), Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa (Michigan) and Seminole (Florida).

The hosting Virginia tribes are the Chickahominy (Charles City County), Eastern Chickahominy (New Kent County), Mattaponi (King William County), Monacan Indian Nation (Amherst County), Nansemond (Suffolk and Chesapeake), Pamunkey (King William County), Rappahannock (King & Queen County) and Upper Mattaponi (King William County).

The festival offers visitors an opportunity to experience the similarities and differences between American Indian cultures. Festival highlights include daily drum and dance demonstrations, flute making, storytelling, presentations by artisans, pottery making, hand drum tying, exhibits showcasing the history of Virginia tribes and children's activities. Guest speakers from visiting tribes and the National Museum of the American Indian will discuss current issues facing American Indian communities today.

The American Indian Intertribal Cultural Festival is being held July 21-22 at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia. Festival hours are from 10 - 6 p.m. each day and admission is free. For more information on the festival, please visit www.Americas400thAnniversary.com.

Jamestown 2007, a sub-agency of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, is coordinating efforts to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, Va., the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. The nation's first representative government, free enterprise system and culturally diverse society began at Jamestown. State, national, and international commemorative events to salute these legacies began in May 2006 and continue into 2008. Major corporate sponsors of America's 400th Anniversary include Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC), Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Other supporters include Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. (NYSE: BUD), AirTran Airways (NYSE: AAI), Consol Energy and CNX Gas Corporation, Dominion, James City County, Lockheed-Martin, McGuireWoods LLP, Philip Morris USA, SunTrust, TowneBank and Wolseley PLC/Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. Contributors include the City of Poquoson and Rutherfoord Insurance. More information about the commemoration is available at www.Americas400thAnniversary.com.

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