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Celebrate Native American Culture At The United San Antonio Pow Wow

J. Michael Short, San Antonio Express-News
Ramon Vasquez

The United San Antonio Pow Wow is February 1-2 and the once-a-year gathering is unlike any other in San Antonio. The event is presented by the group American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions.

"People who come out will be able to enjoy traditional Native American dancing, be able to taste traditional American Indian food," said Executive Director Ramon Vasquez.

The San Antonio Pow Wow is held at the Alzafar Shrine Temple on Loop 1604 in the Stone Oak area and is free to all who come.

"This powwow is to provide education and awareness of American Indian contributions throughout the country," Vasquez said. "The powwow itself is a place for our native peoples to come together and celebrate their culture. You know, at one point it was even illegal to do this."

A sobering reminder of a time now passed.

"It’s not illegal anymore so now we can bring various groups together, and celebrate our culture," Vasquez said.

I couldn't help but noting that Native Americans seem to play a very low-key role in San Antonio.

"You know, it’s interesting because across the country the American Indian population is considered an invisible population," Vasquez said. "And one of our efforts is called making the invisible visible."

I asked Vasquez what people could expect if they were taking their family.

"Beautiful outfits, very colorful," he said. "There’ll be opportunities to take photos with dancers. You’ll be able to enjoy music, native American drumming. And enjoy some of our traditional fried bread tacos."

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii