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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


July 14, 2001 - Issue 40


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Family Event Highlights Miccosukee Culture


 by Nicole T. Lesson Staff Writer Sun Sentinel-July 2, 2001

Miccosukee logoCovering himself with sand for a better grip, a 10-year-old boy climbed a greased pole and was the first to reach a $100 bill taped to the top Sunday during the ninth annual Miccosukee Freedom Festival.

"I put sand everywhere and climbed up fast," said Luis Rodriguez of Leisure City, who won last year.

The festival had free activities for the whole family, highlighted with Native American culture.

"It's a free event for the community, to coincide with Independence Day," said Houston Cypress, director of marketing for Miccosukee Indian Gaming. "It's a chance for us to share our culture and get to know others in the community."

Spectators saw alligator wrestler Kenny Cypress take on a 9-foot male alligator, the same alligator that attempted -- but failed -- to escape earlier in the day.

"He must have heard the water and headed towards it," said Rolando Perez, the facilities manager, who was standing at the alligator pit near the airboat rides. "Security and the Miccosukee police had it under control. The alligator's mouth was taped shut."

The alligator came up over the 3-foot-high pit and pushed through the steel gate. No one was hurt.

This year's concert featured Little Richard, who wowed a 1,500-plus standing-room crowd as he performed favorites like Good Golly Miss Molly and Blueberry Hill.

A free five-minute airboat ride was also a crowd pleaser, especially for one Delray Beach couple.

"It was a great, and a nice breeze, but a bit loud," said Joe Vitale of Delray Beach. Despite her fears, his wife agreed.

"I loved it and I am afraid of boats, but the water was not too deep," Carol Vitale said.

Traditional Native American jewelry, clothes and crafts, including the popular dream catchers, were available for purchase.

Patrons could watch American-style and traditional Native American foods being prepared, such as fry bread, Indian tacos, pumpkin bread and even a gator platter.

"It's wonderful. I wish they had [a festival] every Sunday," said Patricia Fortenbury, of Miami.


Maps by Travel


Miccosukee Tribe Home Page
Welcome! Get ready to experience how The Miccosukee Indian Tribe existed and still exists in "The Heart of the Florida Everglades." Visit the Miccosukee Indian Village and let our guides take you on a tour through the past, present and future of our history, culture and lifestyle.

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


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