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Tribe begins powwow on Friday

alabama-coushatta640pINDIAN VILLAGE - The 48th Annual Alabama-Coushatta Powwow will begin Friday, June 3 near the Veteran’s Pavilion at the reservation on U.S. Highway 190 east of Livingston.

The event will span two days, opening to the public at 5 p.m. Friday and noon on Saturday.

“Because of the rain, we may move it to our Veteran’s Pavilion at the ballpark,” Alabama Coushatta Public Relations Manager Carlos Bullock said. “Looking at the weather, it’s going to be unpredictable this year.”

Visitors will have the opportunity to hear music, see dancing, and take in the colorful and customary dress of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas.

“It is traditional regalia, the outfits that they wear,” Bullock said. “On each drumbeat, the dancers footwork has to match up to the beat of the drum. We are going to have people from all over the country coming out to this event. Dancing is open to anyone in the tribe, and anyone in a recognized tribe can dance in our competitions.

“People grow up within the powwow and we have tribal members who travel across the country in the summer to attend others. They are generally held in the summer, because that’s when people can generally travel. You will see different styles of dancing and we want people to come enjoy themselves and recognize our culture.” Bullock said there would be opportunities for the public to join the dancers and learn from the traditions displayed.

“This is the biggest event the tribe hosts and it’s open to the public,” Bullock said. “We do have tribal dances in which the public is welcome to dance. But, it is also a contest powwow, which means that the dancers are competing for prize money. It is a homecoming for our tribal members and we want to invite everyone out to celebrate the tradition and cultures with us.”

Proceedings are usually wrapped up around midnight on Friday, but Saturday depends on how long contests continue.

Food vendors will keep the crowds full with everything from Indian tacos to fajitas or funnel cakes. Patrons can also expect around 20 booths with handmade arts and crafts.

“We have a lot of arts and crafts vendors and this is probably the premier spot to get authentic Native American-made arts and crafts,” Bullock said. “We do not allow non-natives to sell at our event.”

Admission to the event is $7, with children aged three and under allowed access free of charge.

Campsites on the premises of the 4,500-acres reservation are available, as are cabins.

Campsites begin at $12 per night, while cabins start at $40. Lodging can be acquired by calling (936) 563-1221.