Har-Ber Village Museum in Grove, Okla., will come alive with the sounds of flute playing, gospel singing, stomp dancing and more on Saturday, June 13, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Chief John Baker will honor the first female Cherokee National Treasure celebrated for reviving Southeastern style pottery, Anna Belle Sixkiller Mitchell, during a ceremony at 1:00 p.m. in the Village’s bandstand.
Mitchell’s daughter Victoria Mitchell Vazquez (also a National Treasure in pottery) will be present from 1:00-3:00 p.m. with a display of her mother’s artwork.
Southeastern style pottery is the traditional art of the Woodland Indians, including Cherokees, who originated from Georgia, Tennesee, North Carolina and Alabama.
Artifacts include animal effigies, ceremonial objects and wood-fired vessels stamped with unique designs such as water symbols.
The Tsa La Gi Women’s Club of Grove honored Anabel Walker for her 100th birthday at Har-Ber Village last year, and this year the club chose to recognize another Anna Belle.
Members will wear their tear dresses to honor Mitchell and will hold a brief meeting after the 1:00 p.m. ceremony.
The club is open to those with an interest in Native American culture and tribal citizenship is not required. Club members share stories about family histories and are open to new stories. They have become a benevolent society, sending donations to various local charities and ususally meet on the fourth Tuesday of the month.
During this year’s annual Cherokee Heritage Day event, visitors can play the ancient game of marbles which dates back to 800 A.D., listen to the Elm Tree Baptist choir from Tahlequah sing Cherokee gospels in the bandstand, hear Cherokee National Treasure Tommy Wildcat play the flute, and participate in a stomp dance with the Seven Clans youth group with members from Vinita, Salisaw and other towns in the region.
Carol Savage will show people how to research their Native American genealogy, Donna Helm will demonstrate pottery making, and Jan O’Fields and her daughter will instruct visitors in basket weaving.
Vendors will sell beadwork, jewlery, and Indian tacos.
Visitors may try their hand at crafts scheduled at various times during the day: mask making, pinch pottery, and corn husk dolls as well as sample grape dumplings in the Village’s living history cabin.
A video featuring a history of the Trail of Tears will play continuously in the Har-Ber Village Visitor Center throughout the day, and a copy of Oklahoma Tourism’s Oklahoma Indian Country Guide will be available free of charge while supplies last.
Cherokee Heritage Day will be a day of cultural enrichment and fun. To honor the heritage of all the tribes in this area, Har-Ber Village admission (normally $10 for adults, $7.50 for seniors, $5 for students ages 6-13, and under 6 free) will be free to all those who present their tribal IDs.
We encourage all to come and enjoy a peaceful stroll through scenic Har-Ber Village Museum – just one of many great attractions at Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees.
Examine antique collections and reproductions housed in both original and replicated buildings reflecting the late 1800s and early 1900s. Explore new hands-on exhibits, view frequent craft demonstrations, shop at two retail shops and be part of the culture at Har-Ber Village during Cherokee Heritage Day.
All of the activities are free with admission to Har-Ber Village.
Cherokee Heritage Day is sponsored by Harps Grocery Store, Brown & Brown of Arkansas and Bank of Grove.