Mashpee Wampanoag tribe celebrates powwow’s return to sovereign land

MASHPEE, Mass. (AP) — The Native American tribe whose ancestors broke bread with the Pilgrims nearly 400 years ago is celebrating the return of its annual powwow to sovereign tribal land.

The Mashpee Wampanoag (WAHM’-puh-nawg) tribe’s 97th powwow began Friday and runs through Sunday at its government center in the Cape Cod town of Mashpee. The festival has been held at fairgrounds in Falmouth in recent years.

Each festival day features a “grand entry” procession of tribal dignitaries and ceremonial dancing and drumming, as well as food and vendors selling Native American clothing, jewelry and art.

Saturday is the Fireball medicine ceremony, and Sunday is the crowning of the Mashpee Wampanoag Powwow Princess and a traditional clambake.

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The tribe was granted a 321-acre reservation in 2015, but the Trump administration is reviewing that decision.

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