Powwow Dispels Myths About American Indians

September 6, 2008

Author: Barrett Newkirk

Source: The Herald Bulletin


Black, red and white are allowed in the closets of Delaware Indians, as Greg Livengood learned Saturday. During the Andersontown Powwow, the Greenfield resident listened as Dee Ketchum, a former Delaware chief, led a presentation on his tribe’s history and customs.

Ketchum’s black otter fur hat and the red and white bead work on his bandolero bag contradicted what Livengood had always thought he knew about Madison County’s indigenous people, that those three colors were sacred and shouldn’t be part of an Indian’s wardrobe.

But that’s not the case, Ketchum explained, at least not among the Delaware. “Some tribes have family designs, and really, you have to get their permission to wear their designs,” Ketchum said. “And some tribes have colors you cannot wear.”

This year is Ketchum’s fifth Andersontown Powwow, and he’s been speaking at Connor Prairie for 15 years. The Oklahoma native said by doing presentations on his tribe’s history he hopes to correct common misconceptions about American Indians.