The festival celebrates the arrival of a band of Shawnee Natives who in 1810 fled what is now Ohio, being pursued by the colonial militia, according to a release from the VIS. They crossed into Kentucky and back into Illinois. Eventually, they took refuge in a region north of what is now known as Karber"s Ridge.
In September, 2010, the now Vinyard Indian Settlement celebrated the bi-centennial of that event with a Reconnection Day. After the initial Reconnection Day, the tribal council voted to make this an annual event.
For descendants of the natives of Karber"s Ridge or of other indigenous refugees settling among those of the Vinyard Indian Settlement, Reconnection Days provides and opportunity to connect. The VIS asks those with pictures, written or oral histories to bring and share them.
The schedule, subject to change, is:
10 a.m. — Opening with welcoming to relatives, friends and guests; opening prayer and song; announcements and review of schedule.
10:30 a.m. – noon: Workshops. There will be classes in flint knapping, cattail mat-weaving, beginning beading, clay effigy construction, pottery and cornhusk doll making. Classes will be taught by Lonnie Mann, Mark Denzer, Kathy Wolf, Christine Wagner, Fain Russell and Gerry Ann Marshal.
12:30 p.m. — Potluck style lunch. Please bring a traditional dish if you wish. Table service will be furnished, along with coffee, tea and spring water.
1:30 p.m. — Workshop classes will resume
3 p.m. — Native American Games: Little Brother of War, Stickball Game Demonstration
4 p.m. — The game of Chunky
5 p.m. — Time to visit, connect and eat traditional fare. Share oral history, pictures and find where you may fit into the Native American picture.
9 p.m. — Native American Social Dances. This event will be held on the ceremonial grounds. All females must wear skirts or dresses to enter circle. All should enter and move to the right. Shawnee tradition and culture will be observed.
10 a.m. — Workshops will continue. Mark Denzer will in addition, discuss and demonstrate Native uses of various local plants.
Noon — Shawnee Feast. If you wish, you may bring a Native American dish to share. Table service will be furnished, along with coffee, tea and spring water.
1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. — Workshops will continue. For those who do not wish to participate in the workshops, this will be a time to connect and share.
4 p.m. — Closing ceremony.
The VIS notes no alcohol or illegal drugs will be allowed.
For more information on the festival, visit www.vinyardindiansettlement.com