ORLEANS -- The Native American Village at the 2002 New Orleans Jazz
and Heritage Festival was jumping and thumping with the sounds of
local Indian groups Friday.
The Bayou Healers Youth Council and Southern
Connection Drum entertained and educated large crowds during morning
and afternoon performances at The Fairgrounds.
Jazz Fest, which revs up again today through
Sunday, is spotlighting Native American culture this year.
Members of the Bayou Healers and Southern
Connection Drum performed inter-tribal dances, combined with stories
of how the performances originated.
"We had a great time," said Brenda Dardar-Robichaux,
principal-in-chief of the United Houma Nation and a member of the
Jazz Fest Advisory Board. "We had a lot of our tribal members out
Along with performing for record-breaking
first-weekend crowds at the Jazz Fest, the group takes the opportunity
to raise money by operating a food booth at the Native American
Village. The group prepares and sells fry bread and shrimp and corn
"There were record-breaking crowds Friday
and Saturday, and our sales reflected it," Robichaux said.
In 2001, United Houma Nation members raised
enough money to re-roof the group's Montegut Tribal Center.
"This year, we're looking at using the
money to buy fireproof filing cabinets to secure all of our genealogy
records," Robichaux said. "If we were to lose the records, it would