THE COMMUNITY TRADITIONS AWARD
This award honors the organizations and groups who engage in or support folklife and traditional culture in North Carolina.
Since 1997, THE HAWKEYE INDIAN CULTURAL CENTER (HICC) has provided services vital to preserving, celebrating, and illuminating cultural traditions of the Native Americans of the sandhills in and around Hoke County. Hawkeye sees cultural renewal and service provision as intrinsically related. They provide fundamental services, like a food bank and job training, in addition to diverse and culturally sensitive programming. Their work includes hosting classes throughout the community on regional tribes and folk arts, on-site cultural events like the Hawkeye Indian Cultural Center Powwow, and initiatives to document community history, like helping youth collect oral histories of local elders.
HICC connects and draws in community members who previously felt disconnected from their sense of tribal culture and operates on a model of inclusion. This comprehensive approach lifts up tradition, allowing folkways and foodways to flourish while supporting the social, economic, and physical well-being of those who carry these traditions forward.
The BLUE MONDAY SHAD FRY is held annually in East Arcadia, a small community in Bladen County. Every year on the Monday following Easter, community members gather together to cook, eat, and mark the celebration of spring’s arrival. This vibrant cultural event, centered on food, family, and community marks a historically significant seasonal moment for East Arcadia: the arrival of shad—sustenance—after long winters.
Every year hundreds of visitors from near and far meet by a river lock along the Cape Fear River to fry and eat shad and shad roe. The Blue Monday Shad Fry has been a formal community event for over sixty years, but the tradition dates back to days of slavery, and beyond—in varied forms—in Native American traditions. The state legislature recognized this calendar day as the official Blue Monday Shad Fry of the State of North Carolina in 2013 (HB241).
BROWN-HUDSON FOLKLORE AWARD
This award recognizes persons who have in made outstanding contributions to the appreciation, continuation, or study of North Carolina folk traditions.
University of North Carolina at Pembroke faculty members DR. JASON HUTCHENS and DR. MICHELE FAZIO have received the Brown-Hudson Award for their work documenting the life, work and culture of the Lumbee in their film Voices of the Lumbee. This documentary captures the culture, religious and economic life, and work history of the state’s largest American Indian tribe, and chronicles the tribe’s roots in Robeson County. Through candid interviews, and footage shot in Lumbee communities in Robeson County and Baltimore, the film shines light on the Lumbee’s present-day struggle to achieve federal recognition.
The film grew out of a service-learning project conducted by Dr. Fazio’s students, but has now garnered international attention. Almost 700 people came to the film’s premiere, and it has been shown at film festivals around the country. The filmmakers also built a companion website that has been visited by people in the United States, the Republic of Korea, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, and Spain.
Pembroke North Carolina’s REGGIE BREWER, the Cultural Enrichment Coordinator for the Lumbee Tribe, has received the Brown-Hudson Award for his work preserving and passing on Lumbee culture and heritage. Brewer has practiced and advocated for the transmission of traditional Lumbee culture throughout his life. Brewer, a talented traditional dancer, has performed on the powwow circuit for years. He practices traditional singing and drumming, and stick ball gaming, and is a skilled traditional hand-drum and blow-gun creator.
Through culture classes and visits to elementary schools in multiple counties, Brewer works to educate youth, their parents, and the broader community about powwow culture and traditional Lumbee traditions. Brewer also coordinates youth services and teaches Lumbee Culture Classes at the Boys and Girls Club in Pembroke. Brewer’s work has touched the lives of many. His culture classes form a part of a Lumbee Rite of Passage program, shown by Wake Forest School of Medicine to improve mental health among teenagers, and several of his former students currently work as Lumbee Cultural advocates.