WHAT: Sacred Springs Powwow Brings New Surprises
WHEN: October 14-15, 2017, Saturday 10:AM-9:PM, Sunday 11:AM-5:PM
WHERE: Meadows Center, 201 San Marcos Springs Drive
ADMISSION: Adults/$5/day or $8/2-day pass. Children up to 12 years free.
CONTACT: Maria Rocha, maria.rocha@IndigenousCultures.org, 512-393-3310

New Zealand-style native drums will be playing, Aztec dancers will be vying for the highest honor, Plains Indian dancers will compete for unparalleled prize money, and the Sacred Springs Powwow will expand to a two-day festival celebrating Native American culture and the sacred springs of San Marcos. The event, scheduled for October 14 – 15 at the Meadows Center, 201 San Marcos Springs Drive, will add several new Native American food booths, include some Tonkawa Tribe surprises, and continue the largest Indian Market in a two-day Texas powwow.

“This year we’ve raised $10,000 in prize money donated by our powwow supporters, including the Tomblin Family Foundation and the Miakan-Garza Tribe,” says Dr. Mario Garza, the institutes Board of Elders Chair. “The money is awarded to the best powwow dancers and the most honored Aztec dancers.”

According to Dr. Garza, no other powwow features Aztec awards, and this new powwow showcase will present representatives from six major dance companies in Texas. Aztec danzantes (dancers) are known for their phenomenal regalia and huge feathered head pieces. They dance to the strong, fast paced beat of a drum called a huehuetl, and are known for the great stamina it takes to complete an entire dance.

The prize money is expected to bring champion dancers from New Mexico, Arizona, and Oklahoma, including the best dancers in Texas. Award winning dancer Cecil Gray (Cheyenne/Kiowa) and his equally famous wife Hauli Sioux Gray (Ponca/Tonkawa) will be coming from Oklahoma to serve as head man and head lady dancers.

“We’re adding several new food booths to showcase Native American foods,” says Maria Rocha, executive director of Indigenous Cultures Institute, the powwow sponsors. “People don’t know that indigenous people invented barbeque, domesticated wild turkeys, cultivated foods that are now 75% of the foods consumed worldwide and created corn through genetic engineering.”

According to Rocha, tamales were developed by Native people so they could carry meat on long journeys without spoilage because it was wrapped in a protective shield of corn masa. Local tamale merchant Magdalena’s is being courted by the powwow to bring out her now-famous tamales with chili con carne dish. Peruvian-style empanadas (meat stuffed pies) will be a feature food at the powwow, along with turkey legs from Papos, and barbeque from local Chunk Deuce BBQ. New vendor Cindy’s Foods will provide indigenous gorditas and corn dogs for the children. Returning with her renowned frybread tacos, Glenda Longhorn (Navajo), will also prepare buffalo stew and frybread with honey.

“We’re also excited to present a ‘first’ at our powwow, the Te Tini a Māui, a Māori cultural dance group based in Vancouver, Canada,” says Rocha. “They dance the ‘Haka’ which is a strong stomp-dance with fierce facial expressions and dramatic poses, like their indigenous ancestors from New Zealand.”

The Māori group will dance on Saturday, once at 1:00 PM in the main arena tent and then again at 6:00 PM in the Native Culture tent. The Native Culture tent was a powwow addition two years ago to showcase storytellers, flute players, dance demonstrations, and lectures on indigenous topics like the White Shaman panel and the history of the Coahuiltecans (ancestors of local Native Americans who lived in the San Marcos area as far back as 13,000 years). This year the Andean Fusion music group will return, thanks to fans raving about their 2016 performance. Grandmother Emma (Apache) will perform storytelling, a disappearing art among most communities.

More information, online tickets, and schedules are available at www.SSpowwow.com or call 512-393-3310.