story & photos
by Alexis Ann
Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation’s annual Feast of Green Corn and Dance is a time to celebrate the riches of the land and to reap the rewards of a season of hard work. At sunrise, on the first day of this event, a blessing was held on the grounds of the Eastern Woodland Village exhibit. The Village is a living exhibit consisting of several structures typical of a summer campsite.
Children, parents and Tribal leaders adorned in Regalia gathered around campfires during the dark hours of the morning before sunrise on August 24th. Tribal children held baskets of corn and danced in a circle.
“This is the first year that we’re blessing these grounds of the Village, as well as, the Reservation,” said MPTN Councilwoman Marjorie Colebut-Jackson, Schemitzun Chairwoman. “Just as our ancestors built weetus to house guests from different villages, we worked to prepare our home for your arrival to our four-day celebration of Schemitzun. It is a time to tell stories, to reconnect with old friends, to share good food, crafts, sports and to dance.”
All in attendance joined hands and formed a circle around the fires as Councilwoman Marjorie Colebut-Jackson gave the blessing. She thanked all family, friends and guests including the media for their hard work throughout the year. Marjorie expressed the importance of “keeping the culture going.” “This year, young men are drumming with and competing along side adults.”
“Our youth are stepping up to the plate. Adults are stepping back to let the young drummers and young warriors move forward in their place. The youth know things are changing and they want to lead.” This was obvious when viewing the sunrise participants – all smiles!