Green Corn Festival at Ross Lower School

DSC_7454 Members of the Shinnecock Nation joined with students, family, faculty, and friends to celebrate the first annual Green Corn Festival at the Lower School on June 17. The beautiful, new tradition included Native American dancers and drummers, traditional games, beading, food, and storytelling.

The festival kicked off on a sunny morning on the Lower School soccer field. Visitors meandered around the grounds, stopping at exhibits to hear about important pieces of Native American history and culture including ceremonial dress, wampum, weapons, and medicines.

In the afternoon, Ross School alumna and Shinnecock Nation member Andrina Smith welcomed everyone as the group formed a large circle around the field. She explained the significance of the corn festival and the special relationship between Ross and the Shinnecock, and then turned it over to representatives from the Shinnecock Museum who performed male and female dances telling the tales of the hunt, war, courtship, and coming-of-age. Others were performed to bring forth a healing or plentiful harvest.

As a fitting conclusion, the crowd gathered near the new Native American garden, already in early bloom, for a traditional blessing and tobacco offering performed by the members of the Shinnecock.