Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chambers Farm Pow Wow

This week was spring break for us and after a week of nothing (even though I had grand plans...) we finally took a short road trip.  Ft. Mcoy is a little tiny town out in the Ocala National Forest area, it is the host site of the Chambers Farm Pow Wow, held two times a year.  It used to be held down in Belleview but they were able to purchase their own land a year or so ago and now they hold it on their own property.  I have heard about it and seen it advertised in the paper before and kind-of wondered about it.  This year I decided we would go, since after all it's free!  I dragged the kids kicking and screaming, "NO, I DON'T WANT TO GO!", "IT WILL BE B-O-R-I-N-G!"
So, after a short trip to the Farmer's Market, to get strawberries and Florida sweet onions and a bonus pound of shrimp, we headed off to the Pow Wow.  A very nice drive later(I just love country drives, don't you?) past the place we pick organic blueberries, we arrived at the Pow Wow.  We were directed where to park and as we walked in to the circle, we could hear the drums and singing.  The kids got very excited.
First order of business, after surveying the lay of the land and being sucked into a couple vendor's tents because of money burning holes in the kiddos pockets, was to get food.  We were HUNGRY!  Not too many food tents, but we were able to find something for everyone.  Hamburgers for the kids and a "different" kind of "taco" for me.  It was called an Indian Taco.  All that was different was the base, which was some frybread instead of a tortilla.  Mine was very reasonably priced at $5, it came loaded and was too much for me to eat.  The kids hamburgers were $4 each and were small and nondescript.  From what I understand though, the food tents were a part of the Pow Wow and after paying for the groceries the Pow Wow got the rest of the proceeds.  I feel a little less taken since admission and parking were free. 
When we got in line for food, the dancers started.  The Rocket was kind enough to take some photos of the Indian dancers in full regalia for me while Sweetie pie and I stood in line for food.   There were only a few dancers since it was the first day and it was early in the day. The Pow Wow takes place under a stand of large oak trees, with a grassy green dance circle in the middle.  There is a drummer's pavilion in the middle of the circle as well as the west side of the circle, with the entrance being on the east side.  The weather was perfect for this, warm and sunny, but not too hot!  It was a pure pleasure being there in nature!

It was neat watching them dance.  Some were very subdued and others really got into it.  There were kids as well, and they all danced too.  They also invited others to dance as well.
We watched the dancers while we ate, and Sweetie pie developed a stomache ache and wanted to go home.  Fletcher had $ in his pocket that he wanted to spend, so I promised Sweetie pie that we would only go half-way around the circle(to the break where we could head back to our car) so that The
Rocket could spend some of his dough.  She Ok'd that strategy and off we went.  We visited an awesome booth, where both the kids purchased something, and we learned some things too!  The Rocket is very into Indians since I borrowed a book from the library about Florida's Indians.  In said book, it describes different natural substances that the Indians used to make tools and weapons.  He was inspired to make a bow and arrow set.  He has started on his first arrow(finding a mostly straight stick and whiddling it clean and pointy with a knife) and has been looking for feathers to put on it as well as a way to authentically attach them.  The vendor was kind enough to explain different arrow tips used and ways to attach feathers as well as arrow tips.  The Rocket purchased a kind-of decorative arrow with an arrow tip(VERY SHARP!) attached and then the vendor gave us some extra sinew so that he could attach feathers, and if desired, an arrow tip to his homemade arrow, as well as having something to use for string in the bow when he gets around to making that part!

(this pic is after the fact, as you can tell)
We then moseyed on around and visited a couple more vendors before we got to the teepee.  A real teepee!  Sweetie pie's stomachache was miraculously healed when she found this! Must have something to do with Indian spirits....
Of course the kids disappeared inside immediately!  Made themselves right at home, if you don't mind...

That rope you see in the middle of the teepee is for when it rains.  The rope is wrapped around the poles at the top and then is anchored in the middle of the teepee.  When it rains, the water travels down the rope.  You can either dig a hole, or use a bucket to catch the water.  The opening at the top, when the flaps are closed, is only about a foot and is mainly taken up by the poles. It was rather large inside and quite comfortable temperature-wise.  It was neat talking to the owners of the teepee and hearing stories of different adventures they have had in it.
Next to the teepee, was the kid's art booth.  A very sweet lady was here, and she had several different projects the kids could do, with no limit as to how many they could do, AND it was FREE!!!!! 
Guess where we spent the rest of our time? 

They each made a stuffed turtle that they sewed themselves and a headband with pictographs, and a beautiful butterfly puppet. 
Next to the art booth was a miscellaneous-type, example area that had all sorts of Indian items. I was more interested in this area than the kids were,and because of this, I got some info on a future road trip to drag the kids on(BWAH HA HA HA!).  Another place we have been by many times on trips and as we are passing by, I see the sign- "Hmmmm, I wonder about that place, what's it like? What is it?"  You know what they say... Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back! 
(That's the dance circle in the background)
We decided to leave after this. On the way out we came across some farm life...and we visited, so as not to leave them out.
Momma is showing her chicks what's good to eat. They are attentive learners too!

When we got back to the car, I asked the kids if they were glad they came and if they enjoyed themselves.  They overwhelmingly said YES!  They always do...

Just an afterthought...beware the natives in my house!
His aim is true...


D'Ache' said...

Very cool.

Ingrid DeVilliers said...

Wow looks like you all had a ball! Very interesting and lovely photographs! Thanks for sharing it all!