PICKENS COUNTY — Hagood Mill will host a Native American Celebration on Nov. 21 in observance of Native American Heritage Month, featuring the Nu Nu Hi Warriors (Immortal Warriors) representing the Eastern Band of Cherokee.
The group will be led by Cherokee Cultural Ambassador Sonny Ledford, a long time member of the Warriors of AniKituhwa, a group dedicated to preserving Eastern Cherokee culture and most notable for recreating the traditional War Dance and Eagle Tail Dance of their ancestors.
Other performers will include “Keepers of the Word” drumming group from St. George. Members are of Ojibwa, Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Catawba, and Wassamasaw tribal heritage from Colleton, Berkeley, Dorchester, Orangeburg, and Sumter counties.
Directed by Cathy Nelson, “The Drum” has presented a variety of Native American educational programs as well as spiritual formation seminars and retreats throughout the Southeastern region.
The Boy Scouts of America’s Order of the Arrow Native American dance team will also perform.
The mill will operate rain or shine from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the Hagood Creek Petroglyph Site will be open during the same hours. Parking is $5 for the day but admission is free. All proceeds from parking fees go to help the Hagood Mill.
A number of groups will be represented, including individuals born and raised in Pickens County as well as those who have made South Carolina their home.
Visitors and guest performers will participate in the festivities which will include traditional drumming, singing, dancing, Native American flute playing, storytelling, Cherokee hymns in the Cherokee language, and many traditional crafts.
Demonstrations going on all day throughout the Mill Site will include traditional Cherokee blow-gun demonstrations, traditional pottery making, beadwork, basket making, flint-knapping, finger-weaving, and bow and arrow shooting. Many of the participants will have traditional handmade crafts for sale.
Native American flute music (of different styles and tribes) will be presented along with songs in Cherokee performed by the Reedy River Intertribal Singers.
Dr. Will Goins, CEO of the Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois, and United Tribes of South Carolina, will be present to interpret Native American culture.
Demonstrations of food-way traditions such as stone grinding of cornmeal, cooking fry-bead, and roasting corn will take place throughout the day.
The Crawford Collection of local prehistoric stone points, blades, and tools will be on display as well as their popular pre-historic cooking demonstration using soapstone bowls. The mill site’s regular flintknapper, Steve Compton, will be showing how stone tools and weapons were made.
The younger set can visit the “children’s corner” to make a beaded necklace and have their face painted in a Native American style. For a special treat, the Dan Buckheister family and the Twelve Mile Indian Horse Association will be on site with their Spanish Colonial horses. These horses are actually descended from the first horses brought to the continent by the Spanish.
The Hagood Mill is located at 138 Hagood Mill Road.