Saturday, September 24, 2016




Member of the Nanticoke Indian Tribe Association. Descendants of the Nanticoke's who for many years inhabited the shores of The Indian River of Sussex county Delaware, held their annual Thanksgiving Day pow-wow, yesterday, Thursday, November 25, 1926.

The ceremonial took place at Riverdale Park, the reservation of Chief Wyniaco , William Russell Clarke. There were thirty tribe members and a large number of visiting Chiefs, plus hundreds of interested spectators from Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

The afternoon program started when the Chief and tribesmen, visiting Chiefs and Braves and their guest, marched from the rivers edge to the pow-wow clearing of the reservation where they danced through a hundred dances entertaining the hundreds of spectators. A council fire was lighted as soon as all were seated and was kept burning throughout the ceremonies.

Robert E. Clark , Mawwit, son of the Chief of the Nanticokes, probably his successor, dressed in a handsome costume such as befitted the son of the head of the tribe, offered a prayer to the Sun God and the Great Spirit, then passed 'the pipe of peace' around after which Chief Wyniaco extended greetings.

The welcome dance followed, then the green corn dance, and others such as the war dance, the scalp dance and many snake dances, given during the afternoon while the tom tom's were beaten.

Doctor Frank G. Speck of the Pennsylvania University Department of Anthopology and other University guest, were present. The University has taken an interest in the history of the Nanticoke Tribe.

Visiting Chiefs and distinguished Indian's of different tribes who were gusts and who took part in the pow-wow were; Miss Tadman, Mable Knight of Boston Omaha Tribe; Princess Gladys Tantequidgeon, Julian Harris, Bunnell Fielding of the Mohican Tribe; Chief Strongwolf and Chief Little Feather of the Canadian Objibway Tribe; John Whistler Keskikosh, his wife, of the Omaha's ; Chief
Naniacusus [ O. W. Atkins] of the Chicahominy Tribe and high Chief of the Powhatan Confederacy , George Jones and other braves of the Chicahominy's; Chief Wahanhanoche of the Hansemond Tribe from the Dismal Swamp of Virginia; Otho Nelson, Chief Tahhacope of the Rappahannock and his squaw, Susan Nelson, secretary of the Confereracy and the tribe; Chief George Gutalow of the Virginia Mattiponi Tribe; Chief James Johnson , Rappahannok's; Chief Dorelix Amaf, Cherokee Tribe, who is a descendant of Chief Great Bear; Chief Pahamencoot, of the Pamunkey Tribe of Virginia.

Princess Tantequidgeon is a descendant of Indian Chief Uncas who assisted the Puritans in the 17th century and ate at the first Thanksgiving feast, is the guest of Princess Madacanna of the Nanticokes, a descendant of the chiefs who ruled under Powhatan.

The Nanticoke Indian Association which organized in 1921 under the Delaware Charter Laws has a membership of about thirty, and was brought together through efforts of Chief Wyniaco during the past twenty or so years.

Later this afternoon the council will meet, this evening is the racoon hunt along the shore of the Indian River, known as the 'Happy Hunting Grounds' of their foreparents. The next day boating , fishing , hunting quail and rabbit will take place.

A great farewell dance will take place in the Council Hall at Riverdale.

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