Indian Day started bright and early for residents of the Hollywood Reservation with a community walk at 7 a.m. Sept. 28. The walk was followed by breakfast at the Culture Camp where eggs, bacon, and an assortment of fresh fruits were served.
The smell of smoke from the cooking chickee lingered in the air as Tribal members ate and conversed amongst the sound of children laughing and running about. The atmosphere was as close as it can get to a day at grandma’s camp in the Everglades, and it is almost easy to forget that the Hollywood Reservation is located in the middle of a sprawling metropolis.
By 9 a.m. the Florida sunshine brought on its daily slew of humidity and rising temperatures. The recreation and culture department finished setting up the ball field for the first contests of the day: hatchet throwing for the men and log peeling. It would not be Indian Day without the women tossing a few skillets. Other contests that took place throughout the day were the log run, fry bread and pumpkin bread cooking and horseshoes.
Participants in the hatchet throwing contest showed their competitive side. Some missed the target, some hit a bullseye, but for the most part everyone simply enjoyed a lively time. The same enthusiasm carried over to the log peeling competition where contestants put in their best efforts to trim the bark off of a log in the swiftest time possible. Tomahawks and drawknives kept the boys busy on Indian Day.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the field women practiced their form in skillet tossing. The ladies applied their strength in every heave of the iron cookware to achieve the farthest distance. The friendly competition brimmed with cheers and laughter.
By 6 p.m. the sun started to set, or the earth slowly spins, whichever you prefer. Nighttime rolled around with an evening dinner hosted by Hollywood Councilman Chris Osceola that closed out Indian Day for another year.
– Derrick Tiger