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The Florala News
Florala , Alabama
October 14, 1976     The Florala News
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October 14, 1976

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IMAGE SMALLTOWNPAPERS, INC. ALL CONTENT COPYRIGHTED. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. USE SUBJECT TO LICENSE AGREEMENT. REPRODUCTION, DISSEMINATION, STORAGE, DISTRIBUTION PROHIBITED. 4 PAGE 4 On Beautiful Lake Jackson THE FLORALA NEWS - THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14, 197 THE CREEK INDIANS and their white brothers and friends met on beautiful Lake Jackson in Florala, Alabama for the Eighth Annual Pow-Wow of the Creek Indian Nation of Alabama, on Saturday, October 9, 1976. Florala Mayor Joe R. Evans was on hand to welcome visitors and offer any assistance the city fathers could in helping the Indian restore his heritage and culture to be handed to present day generations. For his efforts in helping to preserve this heritage, Chief Arthur Ray Turner was presented a 1976 Award of Merit from the Alabama Historical Commission by State Representative Jack Smith of Siocomb. Smith made the presentation in the absence of W. Warner Floyd, Executive Director, Alabama Historical Commission. Turner has been instrumental in helping to sflect, salvage and safeguard valuable historic and architectural evidences, has given his support to the Alabama Historical Commission to survey and protect the most prominent landmarks in the state and has provided information which aided the Historical Commission in the successful nomination of several historic structures to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. Turner represents the Creek Indian Nation on the State Historic Forts and Trails Council in the State of Alabama. Commenting to the press, Turner said, "We're trying to re-establish the old traditions and bring the culture back. Our young people only have some history of the life of the Indian. It has been changed in so many ways by white people that the young folks are not getting the true picture of how it was." Reminding those present of some of the old Indian traditions, including their system of justice, Turner said, "The Indian never had a jail. The only prison the Indian ever had was the grave. "Whenever a person committed a crime, he was never put in jail. He had a trial and was punished - he was given a good flogging. If he ever came back on a second charge, they gave him a flogging and cut one ear off. If he came back on a third offense, he was put to death." As the days activities got underway, Chief White Buffalow (Joe Voss) of Pensacola, presided over the "blessing of the ground" ceremonies as he solomnly placed a peace pipe and arrow on the ground and blessed the site, calling for peace, love, understanding and brotherhood among men. After breaking the arrow, he invited his white brothers and tribal companions to come smoke the peace pipe with him. Joining White Buffalow, in the ceremony were Florala Mayor Joe Evans, State Rep. Jack Smith, Chief Gray Eagle (Tom Crook of Pensacola), Chief Turner, Medicine Man Lucky Red Hawk (Thomas Mayhew Crook of Pensacola) and Andy Gray Wolf (Andy Jones, Pensacola). During the morning and afternoon ceremonies, young Creeks entertained with dances of their own creation to the beat of drummers from the Coosawattie Indian Federation of Pensacola. They were also featured in competitive dancing, including the Omaha Society Dance. Don Whiteman was the winner with Chris Allen coming in second. $20.00 and $10.00 prizes were awarded. Don very graciously turned his price money over to the Coosawattie Post Treasurer. Wearing some mighty fancy and colorful feathers were Norman Gregory, Keith Leth and Mike Bowen in the Fancy Dance competition. Gregory won first prize, Leth second and Bowen third. Another star attraction of the day was an elaborate display of Indian Jewelry, much of it made by master silversmith, Joe Voss in his shop in Pensacola. Also on display were valuable pieces made by the late Allen Key, grand master silversmith. One, a silver turquoise poncho belt, was valued at $3600 and expected to increase in value in 8 to 10 years to $10,000 Voss, himself, was wearing about $30,000 worth of jewelry. In commenting on the trade, Voss said - "In Indian silversmithing, a true Indian silversmith, when making a piece of jewelry, builds meaning into it. "The story built into the bracelet I'm wearing goes back S0,000 years to the ancient Incas Indian who received a serpent from their God who came to earth on a bird of fire. The serpent was given to them as a symbol. As long as it points upward, it is a sign of the universe. The ancient Incas believed there were only two planets - the planet on which they lived and planet from which the God came." In revealing the meaning built into the bracelet, Voss said - "The serpent is the universe, the leaves are the leaves of love and long life, the colors in the background represent the blackness of night, the blueness of the sky and the greeness o the earth" Voss said that many people ask them how long the Indian has been here His answer is - "The Indian has always been here History says that the Indian migrated across the Barren Sea when it was a landmass but this is not true What came across the Barren Sea was the Eskimo and the buffalow. Indian legend has it that the buffalow was brought across the Barren Straight into the Americas by the 'great spirit' Who created him. Nothing of the buffalow was ever wasted by the Indian from its hide to the chips that warmed the Indian in his teepee." Talking about medicine -- Voss says of all modern day medicine over 170 of these came from the Indian. Two of the prime medicines came from the Indian - one is antibiotics and he said, "This will probably give you a chuckle - the other is the birth control pill. I don't know whether this is good or bad, but the world owes to the Indian its modern day weapons. Many people are not aware of it, but the Indian has made many worthwhile contributions, both in the Americas and around the world". If you haven't made a point to visit with the Creeks on the occasion of their annual pow wow, you ought to plan now to join them next year. The stories they tell are very interesting and most enlightening. Beautiful Lake Jackson in Florala is the capitol of the Creek Indian nation of Alabama. Chief Turner is presently working on a land grant for the Creeks. If successful, a portion of the lake area may soon be turned over to the Creeks for development of an historical site. What could be more fitting? / . Dance competition winners, Norman Gregory for his ;'Fancy Dance" performance and Don Whitman for his "Old Style". Chief White Buffalow, Mayor Joe R. Evans, Rep. Jack Smith, Chief Arthur Turner, and Chief Gray Eagle, who sworn'in a sub-chief of ~e Creeks East. ii iI ii!i~ i /~ ! . Coosawattie Indian Federation Drummers of Pensacola. . . Chief White Buffalow blesses the ground . ~= Arrow is broken In blessing of the groe~l ceremony. . Chris Allen, Zna place winner In Omaha Society Dance. . . Master silversmith Joe Vass exhibits $3600 poncho belt of turquoise and silver, made by grand master silversmith. .. Let there be peace. Don Whitman demonstrates Omaha Society' DanCe: wn 1st place in the competition. . . ~! and 3rd place winners in dance Bowen (3rd place, Fancy Dance), Chris Allen (2nd Style) and Keith l,ech, 2nd place, Fancy Dance. r~