LIMA — A new location was the site this year for the annual Lima Honoring our Native American Heritage Powwow.
The event had outgrown the U.A.W. Hall on Bellefontaine Avenue and, from all appearances, needed even more space, which was available at the Allen County Fairgrounds.
A packed house turned out to watch the Grand Entry Saturday afternoon.
“This is my third year running it. The Powwow’s been going on for about 30 years and I have been to most of them,” said Deb Kutzli, coordinator of the Lima Powwow.
The event is both social and educational.
“People need to learn where they came from and about how the struggles were and how people lived way back then,” Kutzli said.
For Don Horn, 71, from Knox County, the powwows are a chance to explore his heritage after finding out he’s part Cherokee.
“It’s important for me because it helps me to stay in touch with my Native American culture, so we have these gatherings, things we call powwows, in order to celebrate our heritage and our culture, to pass it on to the young people and to share it with non-native people,” Horn said.
The journey to trace his lineage was difficult.
“I was born in Kentucky, but I was not part of the reservation experience, so it took me some effort to trace it back because many of those records are gone. It took years. It was a struggle, but we got it done. It made me feel very proud because it was so important to my father, and I did a lot of work, genealogy, to honor him. It was a real important part of my relationship with him as my elder,” he said.
Horn led the Grand Entry, a colorful event where men and women dress in traditional Native American garb.
“I brought two eagle staffs with me today. One of them is the Knox County honor guard staff because I’m a member of the honor guard for veterans burials in Knox County, and the other one honors Kateri Tekakwitha, which is the new Catholic Saint who was a Native American woman. It’s an honor to bring these eagle staffs to this gathering,” he said.
The Lima Powwow continues Sunday, beginning at 10 a.m. The Grand Entry is at 1 p.m.
Admission is $5 for adults. If you’re over 62 or between 5 and 12 years of age, admission is $3. Children under 5 get in free.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.