PICKENS — In observance of Native American Heritage Month, Hagood Mill invites area residents to join together for a special day of milling, memories and a Native American Celebration at the Hagood Mill Historic Site.
The annual Native American celebration will be taking place Nov. 18, and the mill itself will be operating, rain or shine, from 10-4 p.m., said Billy Crawford, director of the Hagood Mill Historic Site.
In addition, the Hagood Creek Petroglyph Site of South Carolina will also be open.
“This very popular annual event celebrates our own Native American history and influences,” said Crawford. “A number of tribal groups will be represented, including some born and raised in the Upcountry as well as those who have made South Carolina their home.”
Visitors and guest performers will participate in the festivities of the day which will include traditional drumming, singing, dancing, Native American flute playing, storytelling, Cherokee hymns in the Cherokee language and traditional crafts.
Demonstrations will be going on all day throughout the Mill site including traditional Cherokee blow-gun demonstrations, traditional Catawba pottery making, bead-work, basket making, flint-knapping, finger-weaving, spear throwing and bow and arrow shooting, he said.
Many of the participants will have traditional handmade crafts for sale, as well.
According to information provided, featured performers for this year’s event will include Keepers of the Word drumming group from Saint George, S.C.
Members of Keepers of the Word are of Ojibwa, Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Catawba and Wassamassaw tribal heritages from Colleton, Berkeley, Dorchester, Orangeburg and Sumter counties.
Directed by Cathy Nelson, Keepers of the Word has presented a variety of Native American educational programs as well as spiritual formation seminars and retreats throughout the Southeast.
“Also joining us for this year’s event will be the Kau-Ta-Noh Jrs Native American singing group from Maxton, N.C.,” said Crawford. The Kau-Ta-Noh Jrs will demonstrate traditional drumming, singing and dancing from South Carolina and North Carolina’s most ancient indigenous tribes.
“We are honored to have Nancy Basket on site to demonstrate her world class basket making skills,” added Crawford. “She will also share some Native American myths and legends with visitors and guests.”
Dr. Will Goins, Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois and United Tribes of South Carolina will be present to interpret Native American culture while also serving as emcee for this year’s event, he said.
As always, demonstrations of food-way traditions such as stone grinding of cornmeal, cooking fry-bead, and roasting corn will take place throughout the day.
“Collected over generations, some of the truly awesome Crawford Collection of local prehistoric stone points, blades and tools will be on display for the day,” a Mill spokesperson said. “Barry Crawford’s pre-historic cooking demonstration using ancient soapstone bowl is too artful to be missed.”
Members from the Foothills Archaeological Chapter will also be on site to identify Native American stone tools and artifacts and there will be a special “children’s corner,” where visitors can make beaded necklaces and have their face painted in a Native American style.
“For a special treat, we will have several Spanish Colonial horses on site that are actually descended from the first horses brought to the continent by early Spanish explorers,” said Crawford. “Children will be allowed to “paint” the horses with their hand prints in the style of the Plains Indians. This is always lots of fun for everyone.”
Additional programming is being developed and will continue being added to this year’s Native American Celebration until the actual day of the event, he said. Visitors are asked to continue checking in with the Hagood Mill Historic Site Facebook page for the latest updates.
“There will be much more to see and do on Nov. 18 as we host a variety of folk life and traditional arts demonstrations,” he said. “There will be blacksmithing, bowl-digging, flint knapping, chair-caning, moonshining, broom-making, basket-making, pottery, quilting, spinning, knitting, weaving, woodcarving, bee keeping, hearth cooking, metal-smithing, leather-working and more. You can ask questions of the artists and make a purchase of their traditional arts to take home.”
There is a $5.00 parking fee for the day but admission is free to the Hagood Mill Site as well as the Hagood Creek Petroglyph Site.
All proceeds from parking help offset costs at the Mill Site.
The Hagood Mill Historic Site is just 3 miles north of Pickens off Highway 178 West or 5.5 miles south of Cherokee Foothills Scenic Hwy 11 off Highway 178 East at 138 Hagood Mill Road.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.