Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Selugadu Festival 2014
Last weekend was the annual Selugadu Festival, a Native American celebration, at the Hagood Mill Historic Site. This has been a special event we attend every year, not only because of the theme itself, but because of the relationships. It's a time when we get to see many of our friends (artist, dancers, drummers, and demonstrators) although it's even more special when we get to see the people that come to visit us year after year that often we don't get to see otherwise.
This particular time it was bittersweet, being the first Selugadu without the presence of Ed Bolt, long time curator of the Hagood Mill site. Ed was like the Father overseeing the family at the Mill. He was the glue that held it together, and that kept a relaxed and homey feel to the space that made me as a demonstrator never feel like it was "work" but a family get-together. He worked hard creating this family and was always a man that was respected and endeared.
Since Ed's passing, the Mill is still in operation...evolving into what it now will be. The things that need to be done are done and it will continue to grow. I do miss that family feel, but as in life we all grow and change, and a new family will be created.
This year many of the dancers and storytellers were new to the Mill. The Nu Nu Hi Warriors (Immortal Warriors) representing the Eastern Band Cherokee came and offered the main event performance, along with the "Order of the Arrow" dance team and the "Keepers of the Word" drumming group.
Flute playing, storytelling, blow-gun demonstrating, and basket making filled the day, while at the same time the Gristmill was turning grinding cornmeal and flour. But I have to say that the one thing, my favorite thing, that speaks to my Spirit are the Horses.
The Dan Buckheister family and the Twelve Mile Indian Horse Association were present with their Spanish Colonial Horses. (Their horses are descendants of the first horses brought to this continent by the Spanish)
The children are allowed to paint their hand prints on the horses throughout the day.
Visiting the horses is a must for me. It is the one thing throughout the day that speaks to my spirit so deeply and authentically. Stroking their mane and looking in their eyes, brings such a strong connection with this animal, that just emanates freedom and riding the wind.
Even though events, families, and life changes.....Spirit always remains the same.