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Contact: MaryEllen Snyder, 724-329-8131
FARMINGTON, Pa. - The National Park Service will host a Cherokee Cultural Heritage Festival at Fort Necessity National Battlefield on Saturday and Sunday, July 7 and 8.
The Museum of the Cherokee Indian will offer cultural presentations and demonstrations, including traditional dance performances by the Warriors of AniKituwha, a Cherokee dance group. Ten tribal members of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian have recreated Cherokee dances described in 1762, including the War Dance and the Eagle Tail dance. Sponsored by The Museum of the Cherokee, The Warriors of AniKituwha are official cultural ambassadors for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The dance performances are each day at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
There will also be presentations of Lt. Henry Timberlake and War Chief Ostenaco, emissaries who traveled to each other's countries in 1762 to promote peace. They will share their observations of each other's customs, diplomacy, and material culture. Presentations are at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Demonstrations of river cane basket making, woodcarving, blowguns and darts, fingerweaving, moccasin making, quill work, and Cherokee Warrior historic weapons will be given from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days. Traditional Cherokee crafts and art will be for sale by the artisans.
Park staff will present programs about soldiers' life and the Battle at Fort Necessity at 9:30 a.m. ., 12:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. A demonstration of historic weapons will follow each of these progarms.
There are no additional fees for presentations and demonstrations. Visitors must pay the regular park entrance fee of $5 for adults. Children 15 and under are admitted free. Free parking is available at the former Woodland Zoo property, just west of Fort Necessity National Battlefield. A shuttle bus will be provided from this off-site parking. The Friends of Fort Necessity will have refreshments available for sale.
The Cherokee Cultural Heritage Festival is part of partnership between the National Park Service and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian that brought Emissaries of Peace: 1762 Cherokee & British Delegations, 250th Anniversary Traveling Exhibit to Fort Necessity. Emissaries of Peace showcases Cherokee War Chief Ostenaco's and Lt. Henry Timberlake's journey to each other's countries as Emissaries of Peace two hundred and fifty years ago. It is on exhibit in the park visitor center.
The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is located in Cherokee, North Carolina, and represents the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, a federally-recognized tribe. While the Cherokee culture is centered in the southern Appalachian mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, Cherokee warriors scouted for the British and skirmished around French forts including Fort LeBoeuf (present-day Waterford, PA), and Fort Duquesne (present-day Pittsburgh).
Park Superintendent Jeff Reinbold invites visitors to come and learn about Cherokee heritage and their contributions to our national culture. "The event and exhibit represent wider tribal involvement, in the French and Indian War. By including the southern theater and the Cherokee in Pennsylvania, we start to get a fuller picture of the scope and importance of what was started here at Fort Necessity."
Reinbold suggests visitors arrive at least 30 minutes before the first program they wish to see. He recommends wearing good walking shoes and notes that folding chairs or blankets may be brought into the park for more comfortable viewing. There will be no rain date in case of inclement weather.
Fort Necessity's partnership with the Museum of the Cherokee Indian is a part of the Park's plan to conduct a series of special programs highlighting the role of American Indians involvement in the French and Indian War. In 2010 the Park worked in cooperation with the Little Traverse Bay Band of the Odawa.
In addition to the special programs described Park visitors will also be able to tour the Mount
Washington Tavern and attend French and Indian War soldier programs and musket firings at 9:30, Noon and 3:30 p.m.
For more information, visitwww.nps.gov/fone and www.cherokeemuseum.org/exhibits-emissaries.htm.