Best Ways To Celebrate Native American History And Culture In Houston

November 5, 2012 7:00 AM

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(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

Celebrating the culture and history of the Native American tribes who roamed these lands long before Europeans crossed the Atlantic is an important way to remember a specific part of the history of the nation. November is Native American Heritage Month, and there are many ways to celebrate the history and culture of various Native American tribes in the Houston area. Make sure to check out these events, organizations and books to learn more about the culture of the real locals.
23rd Annual Texas Championship Native American Pow Wow
Traders Village
7979 N. Eldridge
Houston, TX 77095
(281) 890-5500
www.tradersvillage.com

Dates: Nov. 10 and 11

Hosted by the DFW Inter-Tribal Association, this annual event will feature traditional dances from various tribes performed by dancers of all ages as well as a tipi exhibit visitors may tour. Included in your free admission to Traders Village is access to the Native American arts and crafts expo featuring vendors from across the country. The food court will feature traditional Native American dishes for everyone to try.

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis
Brazos Bookstore
2421 Bissonnet
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 523-0701
www.brazosbookstore.com

Written by Timothy Egan, this book follows the life and photography of Edward Curtis, who spent years around of the end of the 19th century traveling in the American West, documenting through photos the dwindling native tribes in their traditional homelands. Funded by J. P. Morgan, Curtis spent years taking photographs of native tribes in Washington, Oregon, California and many other western states. Many of his images have become iconic for representing Native Americans in today’s society. You may even find some of the Gulf coast’s native tribes that lived in the Houston area, as most of his travels were completed before Houston’s growth as a city took off. Egan’s new book chronicles how he lived amongst the tribes and showcases much of his work.

Houston’s Native American Experience
Texas River Guides
users.hal-pc.org/

Louis F. Aulbach’s written history of the Bayou City’s native tribes and how they interacted with the European settlers who settled in the wetlands of Houston after Texas won its independence from Mexico is a must read for anyone who lives downtown. Starting at the beginning of the Texas Republic and Sam Houston’s government in the newly formed capital city of Houston, it tracks the attempts to form peace treaties between the new Texas republic and the native tribes of Texas. This article is full of real Texas history and interesting trivia about the fourth-largest city in the country.

Spring Cypress Native American Flute Circle
25910 Pepper Ridge Lane
Spring, TX 77373
(281) 288-7142
www.springcypressflutecircle.com

The Spring Cypress Native American Flute Circle is a group of people of all ages from all backgrounds who come together to enjoy traditional Native American flute music. All are welcome to join and participate; the group accepts visitors of all talent and experience levels who are interested in traditional flute music. The group meets monthly in Spring, Texas, off of Interstate 45.

Teen Craft Night: Dream Catchers
La Porte Public Library
600 South Broadway
La Porte, TX 77571
(281) 471-4022
www.hcpl.net

Date: Nov. 14 – 4 p.m.

Teens and young adults are invited to the La Porte Branch of the Harris County Public Library system to celebrate Native American Heritage Month and build a dream catcher during teen craft night. Dream catchers are traditional crafts in many Native American cultures that consist of string woven into a web that is said to catch one’s dreams. All materials will be provided, and the afternoon is free to all who wish to attend from ages 10 to 17.

Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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