Lunch and Learn: The Spark of Haliwa-Saponi Cultural Revitalization | Olde English District

User menu

Lunch and Learn: The Spark of Haliwa-Saponi Cultural Revitalization

Friday, March 15, 2019 - 12:00pm until 1:00pm

Although the word powwow has its origins in the Northeastern Algonquian peoples and originally described a spiritual healer, today powwow is the universal word used to describe intertribal gatherings which are held throughout North America. For the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe of North Carolina the adoption of the powwow tradition sparked a cultural, spiritual, and political revitalization, which celebrated its recognition as Native peoples despite a social and governmental system intent on enforcing a black-white binary. In this presentation I describe how and why the Haliwa-Saponis and others have embraced the powwow culture as a means of cultural revitalization and why it is so important to the tribe and other Native peoples today. The tribe’s annual powwow is a homecoming, supports tribal sovereignty, generates revenue for the tribe’s programs and services, and encourages traditional arts and crafts, dance, singing, and language revitalization. Various Haliwa-Saponi dancers, crafts people, singers, and participants travel North America representing their tribe in the great cultural exchange that describes the modern-day powwow. Dr. Marvin M. Richardson, Haliwa-Saponi will share knowledge of powwow dancing and singing, as well as personal experience as a powwow dancer, singer, emcee, and participant of over forty years. For more details about this event, please visit the website here.

Location Details:

119 South Main St.
Lancaster, SC 29720
(803) 313-7172

Lancaster County sits within the lands once held by the Catawba Indian Nation, and the current Catawba Reservation is located about 15 miles from the campus of USC Lancaster. With strong geographical and historical ties to the Catawba, USCL has begun to develop curricular and public programs focused on Native American art and culture, with a special emphasis on the Catawba and other Native communities in South Carolina. The Center houses the world’s largest single collection of Catawba Indian pottery, five galleries, the only archive in South Carolina devoted in Native American history and culture, an archaeology lab, meeting and classroom spaces, and more.  Launched in 2018, the Native American South Carolina Archive (NASCA) is a comprehensive digital archive for tribal histories, photos, correspondence, oral histories, and more ( Every March, USCL hosts Native American Studies Week with lectures, performances, and arts and crafts sales. The gardens are a site on the summer SC Ag + Art Tour.  Admission is free.