On the first full day of summer (June 22) members of the Cayuga and Tuscarora Nations held the first of what they hope to be many Strawberry Moon Festivals at Artpark in Lewiston, New York.
The strawberry is the first fruit of the new season and is celebrated with music and dance.
Collaborating with the Kakekalanecks Indigenous Arts and Consultancy, community leaders from the Nation, Cayuga Native Elder Allan Jamieson Sr, and Tuscarora Nation Elder Neil Patterson; Artpark was filled with Native foods, handcrafted artistic items, dance, and music that began with an opening ceremony of traditional prayer, song, and dance by Franklyn McNaughton, Jordan Smith, the Social Dance School from the elementary Tuscarora Indian School, and the Iroquois Indian Marching Band.
Visotors to the Festival were invited to join in on the social dances. Native dancers demonstrated the hoop dance, shawl dance, the warrior’s dance, and the smoke dance. Dancers also competed in a Smoke Dance competition.
The day’s festivities concluded with music from percussionists Cyro Baptista and Griffin Brady; followed by performances from Thunderhand Joe and the Medicine Show, the Sam Roberts Band, Alan Doyle, and A Tribe Called Red.