WASHINGTON — The Institute for American Indian Studies has planned its 17th annual Green Corn Festival for noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, August 14, at the Riverwalk Pavilion, 11A School St. “Green Corn” refers to the first ripened sweet corn. The Green Corn Ceremony is marked with dancing, feasting, fasting and religious observations.
In the Eastern Woodland areas, Native people depended on three staples, corn, beans, and squash. These food items were so important that they were called “The Three Sisters.”
The Three Sisters were mixed together to make a vegetable dish called succotash that is still popular today.
The public is invited to join the museum staff to welcome the first corn of the summer 2022 season with flute music by Allan Madahbee (Ojibwe), drumming, dancing and children’s activities, curated by the Institute’s staff, and traditional stories told by a professional Native American storyteller.
Shoppers and collectors may browse Native American-inspired arts and crafts from a variety of vendors.
All the festivities are taking place in a park with a sheltered wooden pavilion, picnic tables and plenty of free parking.
A highlight of the Green Corn Festival is the Native Nations Dance Troupe, led by Erin Meeches, from the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation.
Each dance performed has an uplifting and unique story or purpose.
Some use movements that imitate animals and others represent an aspect of cultural significance. The dances will be accompanied by the Quahog Bay Drum Group, led by Devin Wixon from the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Nation.
The dancing will take place at 1 and 3 p.m.
Authentic Native American cuisine and more will be availabe from Yapopup, the indigenous soul food truck by Pueblo Chef Ryan Rainbird Taylor (Ohkay Owingeh, New Mexico), who will be cooking up some of his favorite Native American traditional food.
Other vendors offer Colombian fusion food and more than 40 flavors of ice cream.
There is an admission fee. Preregistration is appreciated and may be had by clicking on the Green Corn Festival link at the IAIS website, www.iaismuseum.org.