The public is invited to join in commemorating the melding of the Native American, European and African cultures that have come together to shape our community at the Fifth annual Hampton Heritage Day, a free celebration taking place Saturday, April 15,10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., in downtown Hampton at the intersection of Queens Way and Wine Street.
The event includes traditional music, dance, storytelling and other performances and presentations that take place throughout the day, as well as hands-on family activities, cultural displays and demonstrations, glass-blowing, traditional arts & crafts, food, and more to honor those who came before us.
Highlights include a Native American Thanksgiving address in the Tuscarora (Skarure') Language from Greg “Two Hawks” Stephenson, a member of the Meherrin Nation (Kauwets'a:ka - People of the Water). Greg and Diane Stephenson will invite attendees to join in Iroquois welcome and social dances. The Chickahominy Tribal Dancers will perform a variety of ceremonial dances in traditional and contemporary regalia. Demonstrations of Native American arts and crafts will be conducted by members of several Virginia Tribes.
Colonial-era activities include raw wool carding and weaving, embroidery, sewing, sail making, rigging, blacksmithing and cooking demonstrations from Heritage Education. The Itinerant Band will perform music from the 17th century.
The award-winning bluegrass band Bill Jenkins and The Virginia Mountain Boys will offer authentic Appalachian music.
Songs and stories of the African Diaspora will be presented by The Legacy of Weyanoke of the Weyanoke Association for Red & Black History and Culture. African music and dances will be performed by Atumpan – The Talking Drums, who will also engage the audience in interactive storytelling.
Storyteller Dylan Pritchett will regale attendees with traditional African tales and African-American stories that offer timeless lessons.
The vocal group Musical Mosaic will take attendees on a musical journey from spirituals of the enslaved up to gospel music of the mid-20th Century.
Using their mobile hot box and portable studio, the Missoula School of Hot Glass will create glass vessels and objects on site.
Visitors can try their hand at building techniques used by Native American, Africans and European colonists.
An exhibit about Native American education and life at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) featuring dozens of historical photographs will be displayed.
For more information, visit www.HamptonHistoryMuseum.org or dial 757/727-1102.