RINGWOOD, N.J. -- Native Americans customs take stage every year in an annual Ringwood tradition that's been passed down for 51 years.
A drum circle with dancing, storytelling, flute playing, along with art, crafts, music and food are mainstays of the Ramapough Lenape Nation Annual Powwow Native American Festival on Oct. 22 and 23 in Ringwood State Park.
A vibrant and entertaining celebration, it highlights the history and culture of the tribe, many of who still live in the area, said Marcey Tree In The Wind, a festival organizer.
Powows, she said, "educate people about our traditions."
A Turtle Clan member, the Ringwood native grew up learning of her mother's heritage, she said.
Clay Mann is also a powwow organizer. He is a Wolf Clan member, from his mother's heritage. Selections ranging from the kind of food available, to the music performers will choose for the drum circle aim to give festival goers a sense of the tribe's past.
The park with its tribal lands is a fitting location, he said.
Describing the kind of entertainment to expect, Mann said a fire will be lit for two days and performers will take turns entering the drum circle. "The performers will be smudged before entering the circle. No pictures will be allowed unless they give permission."
"We are a nonprofit organization though we do accept donations. But this (festival) is about seeing our dancers, the different storytellers, the food and art. It gives an idea of the people who lived on this land," he said.
Tree In The Wind said many tribal members help organize the powow, including her husband, Tony Moon Hawk.
Ramapough members live in Ringwood, Mahwah and Hillburn, N.Y., among other places in the region and are scattered throughout the United States. Their tribal office is in Mahwah.
What to expect:
- Host Drum: Spirit of the Mountain Singers
- Guest Drums: To be determined
- Arena Director & Flute Player: Doc Mudd
- Turtle Morgan Fire Keeper: Tony Moon Hawk
The powwow schedule is Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with Grand Entry Saturday or Sunday at noon, Native time (could start later) at Sally's Field, Ringwood State Park, 1304 Sloatsburg Road, Ringwood.
Entry is $8 for adults, $8 for children 5 to 12; $3 for children under five; free for elders 60 and over.