November is Native American Awareness month. I can not think of a more fitting month for this awareness since Thanksgiving is also celebrated in the month of November, Well known to most Americans but probably not as much to people from other countries, our Thanksgiving and its history evolves from the Pilgrims giving a celebration and day of thanks for the Native Americans. In the United States,Thanksgiving is commonly observed on the fourth Thursday of November every year.
According to Wikipedia, “”the event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. This feast lasted three days, and was attended by about 53 Pilgrims and 90 American Indians. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating “thanksgivings”—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought.”Although the holiday was first celebrated in 1621 on the Plymouth Plantation as a harvest feast after a successful growing season, it was sporadic in the following years as an impromptu religious observance and later as a civil tradition. It was proclaimed as a national holiday in 1863 during the Civil War when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the holiday. Thanksgiving remains to the one of the major federal and public holidays and the beginning of the holiday season that runs through Christmas and New Years Day.
The nomadic ancestors of modern Native Americans hiked over a “land bridge” from Asia to what is now Alaska more than 12,000 years ago and many thousands of years before Christopher Columbus’ ships landed in the Bahamas. Scholars estimate that more than 50 million people were already living in the Americas by the time European adventurers arrived in the 15th century AD. Some of these 10 million lived in the area that would become the United States.
Although most Native Americans now live their daily lives in modern-day customs, many choose to remember their traditional history and celebrate at Pow Wows that are held regionally all over the USA. The celebrations are alive with rich Native American traditions customs, and native regalia. The photos and videos shown in this blog post were from the Stone Mountain Park, Ga. Pow Wow in November, 2013.