The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

July 19, 2009

Here comes the bride in Native American WHITE

Ashtabula couple ties the knot at Pow Wow

RICHMOND TOWNSHIP — An Ashtabula couple tied the knot during a traditional Native American ceremony in front of hundreds of friends, family and curious campers Saturday afternoon.

Dragon Fly and Spirit Walker decided to get married during a United Eastern Lenape Pow Wow at Lake Village at Pymatuning campground.

“This is my culture,” Dragon Fly said of her decision to get married during a ceremony that involved tributes to many aspects of the Native American community.

“The Native life is very important to me,” the 36-year-old Dragon Fly said.

Dragon Fly said every element of the wedding plays into the experience including the weather, guests and even ancestors.

She said she has always felt a connection to her Native American world but was drawn closer when connecting with other Ashtabula area residents in the Lenape Nation.

Dragon Fly said she found acceptance because other people shared her beliefs and her heritage has become more important to her.

When asked how many Native American weddings she had seen Dragon Fly said, “This will be my first.”

Dragon Fly scurried around making last-minute arrangements as participants lined up to begin the ceremony.

After the Blessing of the Ground a procession of the bride and wedding party occurred and Spirit Walker placed flower petals on the ground in preparation for the bride’s arrival.

Principal Chief Blue Feather, also of Ashtabula, explained the importance of the place of women in the Native American culture at the start of the ceremony.

Blue Feather officiated the ceremony and said the Pow Wow events are held to help educate people about Native American culture. He said 50 people attended the event last year but there were 100 dancers participating this year.

“We open up and show our tradition. We teach,” he said.

Chief Blue Feather said the group hopes to raise enough money to eventually build a complete living village to educate people about the Native American experience in northeastern Ohio.

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