9th annual Sacred Springs Powwow returns to Meadows Center

Campus Community

Anna Huff | September 4, 2019

man in native american wardrobe
The powwow will host more than 100 Native American dancers who compete for best performers, and up to 50 vendors with indigenous arts, crafts and foods.

The 9th annual Sacred Spring Powwow will return to The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University Oct. 19-20. 

In 1995, when local music legend, attorney and entrepreneur Lucky Tomblin produced the original Sacred Springs Powwow in San Marcos, Native Americans in Texas knew they had a home where their culture was welcomed, celebrated and valued.  Fifteen years later, the powwow’s standard was raised again by the Indigenous Cultures Institute, when representatives from the nonprofit visited Tomblin and his wife Becky and asked permission to reinstate the Sacred Springs Powwow as an annual event. 

"Lucky Tomblin was a good friend to our people," said Mario Garza, chair of the institute’s board of elders. "He and his wife immediately supported our efforts and the Tomblin family has been an abiding source of inspiration and support all these years."

The name "Sacred Springs" was important to the Miakan-Garza Band of the Coahuiltecan people – a state-legislature recognized tribe of Texas and founders of the institute – because tribal members who practice traditional ceremonial ways believe that the area at Spring Lake is their origination site. 

"We believe that we came out of the underworld through a portal at the San Marcos Springs and came up onto Mother Earth as The People," said Garza. "And we also believe that our creation story is documented on a 4,000-year-old rock painting called the White Shaman panel, near Comstock, Texas."

Garza presents an annual lecture on the White Shaman panel and the Coahuiltecan people’s creation story, at the powwow’s native culture tent. Several presentations are scheduled for this educational tent including danza lessons by Mitotiliztli Yaoyollohtli, the nationally famous group that recently performed for a Chickasaw Nation festival. Luis Cuervo (Lipan Apache), liaison between the Kuna Tribe in Colombia and the powwow, will explain how the unique, colorful, artistic shoes that he brings are sacred items that represent the culture of people who live more than 3,800 miles away. Back this year is Marika Alvarado (Lipan Apache) who will present information on the healing plants of Texas and the Spring Lake area. Special guest speaker Hauli Sioux Gray (Ponca/Tonkawa) and the powwow’s head lady dancer, will present an inspirational story about cancer survival.

In a partnership with the San Marcos Cinema Club and part of the Lost River Film Fest scheduled for Oct. 17-20, the powwow will screen the award-winning film "Warrior Women." This documentary examines the story of mothers and daughters fighting for indigenous rights in the American Indian Movement of the 1970s. The film unveils not only a female perspective of history, but also examines the impact political struggles have on the children who bear witness. The film will screen at 1 p.m. Oct. 19 in The Meadows Center conference room.

The powwow will host more than 100 Native American dancers who compete for best performers, and up to 50 vendors with indigenous arts, crafts and foods. A youth art tent will provide craft projects sponsored by Tandy Leather and will welcome all children to learn and earn an art piece.

"Every powwow is a unique experience because every person who comes brings their own story to sing and their own dance," said Garza. "Our powwow is a powerful experience because it's held on sacred ground, next to sacred water; what better place to sing and dance."

The Sacred Springs Powwow is funded by the City of San Marcos Arts Commission, the Tomblin Family Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, Austin Community Foundation and Friends of the Powwow. Sponsors of the powwow include The Meadows Center, Affordable Golf Carts, San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District, Starbucks and IronRoots, Inc. a digital marketing company.

For more information visit www.SSpowwow.com or call (512) 393-3310.

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For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922