Morgan Faulkner ('12): A proud Virginia heritage
At noon, the dancing begins at the Mattaponi Indian Reservation's powwow, and dancers from tribes across Virginia and beyond fill the circle with a variety of movements and colorful costumes.
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Swaying on the arm of one of the dancers is a green shawl with a gold fringe. The colors are no coincidence. They are a nod to dancer's other "Tribe" -- William & Mary.
Morgan Faulkner, a rising sophomore at the College, is a member of the Upper Mattaponi Tribe in King William, Va. She came to the College last year as William & Mary's first Trevarthen Scholarship recipient. The $4,000 scholarship is presented each April to a high-school senior who will be attending William & Mary and who has demonstrated a personal connection to American Indian culture and traditions.
In years past, Faulkner has served as the head, junior lady dancer at numerous powwows and as a delegate to all of the major Jamestown 2007 events, and she participated in 2007's Smithsonian Folklife Festival event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. She was also part of the Virginia Indian delegation that traveled to Kent, England - the place where Pocahontas is buried -- in 2006 to commemorate Jamestown's 400th anniversary.
In addition to dancing at the Mattaponi Indian Reservation's powwow this summer, Faulkner served as the head dancer at the Virginia Indian Tribal Alliance Powwow and the Upper Mattaponi's Powwow.
Faulkner said that powwows provide an opportunity to communities to interact.
"It's just always nice to get together and show other people - not just native people - how we are and what our culture is and just celebrate it with them," she said.
Though Faulkner has been doing tribal dancing for about a decade now, she has been involved in dance since she was about 2 years old.
At William & Mary, where she plans on majoring in either government or public policy, Faulkner is minoring in dance, and she is a member of the school's dance team.
She said that she is enjoying her time at William & Mary and is happy that she can bring a different cultural aspect to the school.