51st annual Alabama-Coushatta powwow going on this weekend

Local News

This evening and tomorrow is a special day down in Polk County, the Alabama-Coushatta are having their 51st Powwow.

We’re told it’s a time for tribes all over the country to come down and meet old friends and make some new ones.

And in true East Texas fashion, you can find just about anything deep fried and on a stick.

“It’s a way to bring back our tribal members that live off the reservation and it’s a way of homecoming and it’s also a celebration for our people,” said Herbert Johnson Jr., Alabama-Coushatta Powwow Chairman.

Tribes from all over the country come to take part in the singing and dancing.

Among the tribes commonly found there are the Apache, Navajo, Cherokee, Caddo and more.

Alabama-Coushatta hoped the Caddo would come  after last month’s tornado destroyed Caddo Mounds during Caddo culture day.

“We put a special invitation to our friends there at Caddo Mounds,” said Johnson.  “Our Powwow committee, most of our members, were there when the severe tornadoes whipped through that area with a lot of destruction. We were there also t to help and it’s a good thing that we were a part of that and it was a right time, I know it’s a very serious thing that happened, but maybe we were supposed to be there.”

It’s not just a tribal event, there’s something for everyone there.

“It’s a good place to buy arts and crafts, check out the vendors, check out the various food booths that we have,” said Johnson. “Indian Tacos is the main attraction that brings a lot of people down too.”

This year’s powwow will come with it’s share of somberness as well.

Chief Mikko Colabe III Clem Fain Sylestine had passed away less than two weeks earlier.

“We have a mourning process, a six month mourning process, but we’ll take time to remember our chief but also we’ll carry on the cultural traditions of our people,” said Johnson.

The powwow will continue until Saturday.

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