University City

Celebrate tribal ways

American Indian Heritage Celebration

N.C. Museum of History, 5 E. Edenton St., Raleigh. 919-807-7900.

The facility just opened the second half of its "Story of North Carolina" permanent exhibit, which covers state history from the early 1800s through the Civil Rights movement. The first portion of the permanent attraction opened in April, and covered pre-settlement times through the early years of American independence.

On Nov. 19 - a Saturday - the museum is putting the new on hold, to pay tribute to the often overlooked role of indigenous people in the state's story - at the annual American Indian Heritage Celebration.

North Carolina has the largest American Indian population (122,000-plus) of any state east of the Mississippi River. You can learn about the eight tribes for whom this is home: Coharie, Eastern Band of Cherokee, Haliwa-Saponi, Lumbee, Meherrin, Occaneechi Band of the Saponi, Sappony and Waccamaw-Siouan.

The event includes music and dance performances, craft demonstrations and workshops, and hands-on activities in the Museum of History and just outside on Bicentennial Plaza.

Highlights include a noon procession of dancers in colorful regalia; Warriors of Anikituhwa performing the Cherokee war dance, eagle tail dance, bear dance and beaver hunting dance (2 p.m.); and storytelling by Lloyd and Dawn Arneach (Eastern Band of the Cherokee) and Gwen Locklear (Lumbee).

Artisans will demonstrate how pottery, beadwork and weapons were made in the traditional way. You can also see how dugout canoes were made by burning. Lunch sold on the plaza by vendors, is also themed to suit the event: traditional foods with a modern twist including fry bread, sweet potato fries, beef stew, buffalo burgers, collard sandwiches and fried pies.

Admission: Free

Target audience: Families, history and culture buffs.

Directions: I-85 North and I-40 East to the Raleigh area; take the Person Street exit and follow Person downtown; turn left at Edenton. The museum is two blocks ahead. Park for free in the lot at Edenton and Wilmington.

Travel time from Charlotte: Three hours.