Mashpee Powwow Promotes Heritage

July 4, 2010

Author: C. Ryan Barber

Source: Cape Cod Times

Bill Pocknett remembers.

He remembers the powwows of 50 years ago — intimate gatherings of friends and family members who would stay in each other's homes or pitch tents in backyards. He remembers the dancers who competed simply for enjoyment and dinners later at night. 

But the opening of this year's 89th annual Mashpee Wampanoag Powwow offered a stark contrast yesterday for the 61-year old chairman of the tribe's Elders Council. Mobile homes parked outside the powwow grounds replaced the tents of his youth. Monetary prizes replaced dinners of beans and franks for dance competition winners. And cars belonging to strangers lined the nearby road.