Courtesy Red Eagle Lodge
The head veteran during a previous pow wow

Honoring Horses at Central Florida’s New Year’s Pow Wow

Tish Leizens

The non-profit organization Red Eagle Lodge is launching its first New Year’s intertribal gathering. The pow wow focuses on the horse and its importance to Native culture.

“We wanted to do something different. We wanted to reach out, touch other people and draw their interest,” said Pansey Cleaveland (Choctaw), head of the organization and pow wow co-chair. The proceeds from this year’s pow wow will go to hospices that support children in the Spring Hill, Florida area.

The pow wow is set for the last weekend in 2013, December 28-30. The three-day event will be held at Glover’s Stables, a Native-owned equestrian center in Spring Hill, Florida.

Lori Childers and her horse Tomahawk will be the stars of Saturday’s Freedom Performance, which celebrates the bonding between the horse and the person training it. Another special performance will feature Deborah Glover, who will dance with her horse to the flute music of Sybille Hummingbird.

“Our ancestors bonded with the horses. Horses… followed them because there was trust involved,” Cleaveland said.

During the weekend, children can watch a horse rescue pick up - what it is and how it is done. Also, ponies are available for rides.

Of course, it is not all about horses. Rounding the family entertainment will be intertribal dancing, drums, singing, storytelling and flute music.

Aside from Hummingbird, a Native American Music Awards, Native Heart winner, John Two Flute Fields will also be performing.

This year’s head staff include, Phil Robinson, arena director; Mike Serio, MC; T.P. Hokshila, host drum group; Terrell Anquoe, head veteran; Mike Ijames, headman; and Maryanne Ijames, headlady.

“Red Eagle Lodge’s sole purpose is to be able to teach and educate people about Native culture,” said Cleaveland. “We hope to show people that there are multiple races - and bring them to the education part of it because through education comes understanding.”

The pow wow is intertribal and open to the public. “There is a lot of negativity out there, but nobody is all right and nobody is all wrong. That is what intertribal is about to us. We accept it all.”