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Long Island

What does a Shinnecock Thanksgiving look like?

Every November, the Shinnecocks of Long Island gather together at the community center on the Indian reservation in Southampton to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Except, it’s called Nunnowa (pronounced NONE-Oh-WAH) and it’s celebrated on the Thursday before Thanksgiving.

“As indigenous people, we tend to have different feasts according to the different seasons. So Nunnowa is to celebrate the harvest,” said Autumn Rose Williams, a member of the tribe and the reigning Miss Native American.

The Shinnecocks celebrate Nunnowa a week earlier than Thanksgiving because in the past, members weren’t able to celebrate on the day of the holiday because they had to work, according to Williams.

The food served is similar to typical Thanksgiving foods — turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. They also serve succotash, collard greens, pasta and wild rice.

Drummers beat a drum throughout the night, while singing traditional chants.

Williams and her family also still celebrate Thanksgiving on the actual day, but likes that her Shinnecock culture gives her two occasions to bring the family together.

Here’s a look at this year’s Nunnowa celebration.

Reigning Miss Native American USA and Shinnecock member
Photo Credit: Kimberly Yuen

Reigning Miss Native American USA and Shinnecock member Autumn Rose Williams shows off her plate of food at the Nunnowa celebration at the Shinnecock Community Center on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2017.

Shinnecock members beat the drum while singing traditional
Photo Credit: Kimberly Yuen

Shinnecock members beat the drum while singing traditional chants at the annual Nunnowa celebration at the Shinnecock Community Center on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2017.

About a hundred members of the Shinnecock tribe
Photo Credit: Kimberly Yuen

About a hundred members of the Shinnecock tribe gather for the annual Nunnowa celebration at the Shinnecock Community Center on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2017.

Members of the Shinnecock tribe get plates of
Photo Credit: Kimberly Yuen

Members of the Shinnecock tribe get plates of food at the annual Nunnowa celebration at the Shinnecock Community Center on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2017.

A table has traditional Native American crafts on
Photo Credit: Kimberly Yuen

A table has traditional Native American crafts on sale at the Shinnecock Community Center on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2017.

The seal of the Shinnecock Indian Nation is
Photo Credit: Kimberly Yuen

The seal of the Shinnecock Indian Nation is displayed in the Shinnecock Community Center on Nov. 17, 2017.

Members of the Shinnecock tribe serve food at
Photo Credit: Kimberly Yuen

Members of the Shinnecock tribe serve food at the annual Nunnowa celebration at the Shinnecock Community Center on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2017.

A man holds his plate of food while
Photo Credit: Kimberly Yuen

A man holds his plate of food while looking at the other options at the annual Nunnowa celebration at the Shinnecock Community Center on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2017.

Succotash, made with turkey, beans, and corn was
Photo Credit: Kimberly Yuen

Succotash, made with turkey, beans, and corn was among the items on the menu at the annual Nunnowa celebration at the Shinnecock Community Center on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2017.

Members of the Shinnecock tribe make their plates
Photo Credit: Kimberly Yuen

Members of the Shinnecock tribe make their plates of food at the annual Nunnowa celebration at the Shinnecock Community Center on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2017.

Squash and zucchini were among the items on
Photo Credit: Kimberly Yuen

Squash and zucchini were among the items on the menu at the annual Nunnowa celebration at the Shinnecock Community Center on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2017.

Shinnecock members catch up with each other at
Photo Credit: Kimberly Yuen

Shinnecock members catch up with each other at the Shinnecock Community Center on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2017.

Collard greens was among the items on the
Photo Credit: Kimberly Yuen

Collard greens was among the items on the menu at the annual Nunnowa celebration at the Shinnecock Community Center on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2017.

Shinnecock members get plates of food at the
Photo Credit: Kimberly Yuen

Shinnecock members get plates of food at the annual Nunnowa celebration at the Shinnecock Community Center on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2017.

Macaroni and cheese was among the items on

Macaroni and cheese was among the items on the menu at the annual Nunnowa celebration at the Shinnecock Community Center on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2017.

About a hundred members of the Shinnecock tribe
Photo Credit: Kimberly Yuen

About a hundred members of the Shinnecock tribe gathered at the annual Nunnowa celebration at the Shinnecock Community Center on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2017.

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