Spirit of the Nations Powwow Event

Fawn Galvin.jpg

Jefferson County will be host to the Spirit of the Nations Powwow on August 11, 2018 at the Patriot Academy, 419 W. Dumplin Valley Road, Jefferson City, TN, 37760. This year’s theme is “Celebrating the Eagle.”  To honor the bird that is so important in American Indian culture, the American Eagle Foundation will present a birds of prey program, which will be followed by a rarely seen performance of the Cherokee eagle dance.  Festivities also include competition powwow dancing, Indian tacos, American Indian arts and crafts for sale, kids’ activities, a silent auction, hoop dancing, and Cherokee craftspeople demonstrating ancient skills.

History of Powwow and Jefferson County

The term “powwow” is derived from the Narragansett language, and the closest translation in English is the word “meeting”. Although powwow traditions have evolved, today’s celebration has, at its core, fundamental values common among American Indians throughout North America such as: honor, respect, tradition, and generosity.

The beautiful state of Tennessee has been home to numerous tribes over her history, many leaving little evidence. Due to this lack of documentation, it is impossible to determine which tribe was the first to arrive in the state’s borders. Historians propose that the Natchez were the earliest inhabitants of Tennessee to leave behind any references of existence. In Jefferson County, ancient tribes are believed to have settled in a chiefdom called Chiaha. The most important location of this ancient chiefdom is thought to have been on the French Broad River, near our own Dandridge, TN.  It is thought that the Spanish conquistador Hernan de Soto, the first European in Tennessee, stopped at Chiaha during his travels.

Spirit of the Nations Event Schedule

Gates open at 10 AM with a full day of events scheduled including, activities for children, food, hoop dancing, craft demonstrations, stories, flute music, a silent auction, and American Indian arts and crafts for sale. The powwow dance competition will start with the Grand Entry at noon, and the day will end when the gates close at 6 PM.  Admission is $5 per adult and $1 per school-age child.  Veterans and active duty military personnel are admitted free of charge.  You will be encouraged to taste the food, participate in the silent auction, and shop for Native American arts and crafts.  The Birds of Prey Show will begin at 2 PM, highlighting the eagle as the theme this year, followed by the Cherokee eagle dance.  The second round of the powwow contests start at 3:15 PM.  Announcements of the silent auction winner will begin at 5:15 PM and dance contest winners at 5:30 PM. At 5:45 PM, the event will close with the retiring the colors.

Here's a full look at the tentative schedule:

10 AM             Gates Open

12 PM             Powwow Grand Entry


                        First Round of Contest

                        Hoop Dancing

                        Hand Drum Competition

2 PM               Bird of Prey Show

                        Cherokee Eagle Dance

3:15 PM         Second Round of Contest

5:15 PM         Silent Auction Winners Announced

5:30 PM         Dance Contest Winners Announced

5:45 PM         Retire the Colors

6 PM               Gates Close


Planning Your Spirit of Nations Powwow Trip

While you are planning your event, plan for an entire weekend in Jefferson County. Indian Creek Productions provides additional information on the Powwow, Schedule, and more about the event. Need a place to stay while you join us for the Spirit of the Nations Powwow? Look here. Plan to visit one of the local restaurants to satisfy your appetite here.