Students at Van Buren Elementary met a real Native American recently.
Both Cassy Smith and Ashley Scott's second-grade classes briefly met Kay Witt, whose Native American name is "Happy Feet."
She told the students she got her name because when she dances at the Pow Wows and Gatherings of the People, her feet seem to be happy.
Witt also visited three first-grade classes, Janet Eaglin, Kathryn Butt and Alison Pond's where she talked to them on her Eastern Band Cherokee Indian Heritage and the Native American way of life as it used to be.
She showed the students fans that she made of feathers and a purse made of a turtle shell.
She explained to the students how Native Americans never wasted anything, by using the hides and almost every other part of the animal for some useful tool or clothing to wear.
Witt was the Head Lady Dancer at the Pow Wow at Seelyville Rod and Gun Club last September, which she commented on being quite an honor for her.
Though she is a traditional buckskin dancer, she demonstrated several Native American Dances including the Round Dance, the Grass Dance and the Crow Hop Dance.
Like her forefathers, she enjoys the outdoors and she is an avid deer hunter and loves fishing, shooting a bow and arrow and throwing a tomahawk.
She does bead work and showed some of the pieces of jewelry that she wore and told the students many facts about Native Americans and answered questions.
"What is a Pow Wow," second-grade student Dexter Mendez asked.
"A Pow Wow is simply a gathering of people normally a religious, or in times past, a war oriented gathering," Witt said. "Now it is a religious or a social event and usually involves a little of both. Through our dances, respect is paid to the Creator, Tribal Elders and Veterans Families or an event in history. The dances are done in a circle that is considered Sacred Ground and treated with the utmost respect."
She went on to tell them that there is an arbor or shelter built over the area where the drummers and singers sit and sing for the Pow Wows.
She ended her presentation by wishing all the children a Happy Thanksgiving and telling them to be thankful for all they would have on their tables to eat for Thanksgiving.
Witt took her treasure box of feathers and ornaments she made by hand, gathered her walking stick adorned with feathers and fur trimmings and was gone but not forgotten by some very wide-eyed children at Van Buren Elementary.
Many of the students had never seen a Native American before and will be talking about the kind lady, with the long black hair dressed in real buckskins for a long time to come.