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Friday, June 27, 2014

Celebrating Culture and Heritage of Southeastern Indians

The Moundville Native American Festival celebrates the culture and heritage of Southeastern Indians. It is held in early October at the University of Alabama’s Moundville Archaeological Park in West Central Alabama.

One goal of the festival is to dispel Native American stereotypes by sparking an understanding of what once was and now is Southeastern Indian culture.

Festival organizers engage over 100 Native Americans and other experts to demonstrate arts, crafts, technologies and other lifeways and to perform music, dancing and storytelling particular to the southern tribes.

The Moundville Native American Festival began in 1989, and 2014 marks its 25th anniversary. The festival has four major educational areas: the Arts and Craft Arbors, the Living History Camp, the Children's Area and the Native American Stage. Other components include a Trader's Circle and Arts Market, a Target Range and a food court. Every area reflects aspects of Southeastern Indian culture from various perspectives.

Additionally, guides are stationed at the park’s museum and at strategic points throughout the site to interpret this pristine prehistoric landscape.

Many Native Americans attending the festival, especially those whose families were forcibly removed from the Southeast, consider the park to be a sacred site and the festival a homecoming.

The Moundville Native American Festival has grown into one of the largest events of its kind in the Southeast. Designated a Cultural Olympiad Event by the 1996 Olympic Games, the festival has also received awards from the National Bus Association, the Alabama Tourism Department, the Tuscaloosa Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the West Alabama Tourism Awards. It is consistently listed as one of Alabama's top 20 tourism events.

Moundville Archaeological Park is 13 miles south of Tuscaloosa on Alabama Highway 69, off of I-20/59, Exit 71-A. For more information, call 205-371-2234 or visit http://moundville.ua.edu.

For more information about top events in Alabama take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Alabama.