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Experiencing a different culture in Mount Pleasant

Some things seem to be common to family gatherings: Food fresh off the grill, music, and time to catch up with your favorite cousins.

 

Now, add food trucks, vivid clothing and hundreds of Native Americans from around the country and you have a Pow Wow.

 

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Credit Xavier Mendoza | WCMU
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The entrance to the annual Saginaw Chippewa Pow Wow located at Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Campgrounds on July 27, 2018. The event lasted three days.

 

The Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Pow Wow was held July 27-30 in Mt Pleasant

 

Elk Richardson is a member of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe in North Carolina. He said Native Americans are happy to share their culture.

 

“This is very important. It allows for cultural exchange as well as an exchange of cultural items," Richardson said. "It’s also has economic benefits for the tribes as well as cultural celebrations.”

 

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Credit Xavier Mendoza | WCMU
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An example out of the dozens of booths where attendees could purchase Native American accessories.

He says if someone is curious about Native culture, just ask… honorably and respectfully and they’ll be glad to answer your question.

 

For over three decades, the Saginaw Chippewa tribe has hosted their summer annual Pow Wow.

 

 

Chase Monchamp, is connected with the Leech Lake Anishinaabe, Oglala Sioux and Muscogee Creek.

 

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Credit Xavier Mendoza | WCMU
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Monchamp's booth at the Pow Wow, which featured his modern take on traditional clothing.

 

He’s a well known Native American artist who mixes traditional roots with rap influences.

 

“What I’m doing is, kind of, giving us something to wear. Because I want to rock the clothes and I wear mostly urban stuff," Monchamp said. "And usually a lot of stuff you see in malls are white-people’s depiction of Native American stuff, so, this gives me a chance to put a real flavor on it, as far as culture of Native American clothing.”

 

 

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Credit Xavier Mendoza | WCMU
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Monchamp holding up one of his products that show his traditional roots at the Pow Wow.

Monchamp said his clothing is a different take on tradition.