A United SA Pow Wow member dancing a ceremonial dance at the Inaugural Yanaguana Indian Arts Market. Photo by Scott Ball.

The third annual Yanaguana Indian Arts Market, named for the Payaya Indians‘ original name for the San Antonio River, will take place Oct. 1-2 at the Briscoe Western Art Museum. The free market will feature artwork and cultural exhibitions from more than 40 Native American artists.

Visitors will be able to purchase high-quality Native American jewelry, carvings, beadwork, and other forms of art while watching performances by United San Antonio Pow Wow and Eagle Point Drumming.

The market has grown exponentially since its inception in 2013 and seeks to become on par with longer-established arts markets in Santa Fe, N.M., Indianapolis, and Los Angeles, said Jennifer Chowning, head of education and programs for the Briscoe. That goal comes closer in reach every year, she added.

“We’ve grown considerably since our first launch,” Chowning said. “This year, over 40 artists are participating either as a performer or a demonstrator, giving the public a first hand experience of Native American Culture.”

The market will provide a broad spectrum of Native American diversity, Chowning said, as more than two dozen tribes will participate in the festivities.

Last year, “2,200 people came … and we’re expecting 3,000 this year,” she added.

Chowning also stressed that the market makes an effort to educate the public on Native American arts and culture.

“Last year we found a disconnect on what people thought they were going to find versus what they actually saw,” she said. “You’re not going to come here to find $10 bracelets that are ‘Native American inspired’. These are high-end artists with price points all over the map. It’s really high quality stuff and it showcases incredible traditions that tribes hold dear.”

For the educational aspect of the market, scholar, writer, blogger, and activist Adrienne Keene of the Cherokee Nation will speak on the subject of the appropriation of Native American culture in the media.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. The market is open to the public.


Top image: A United SA Pow Wow member dancing a ceremonial dance at the Inaugural Yanaguana Indian Arts Market (2014). Photo by Scott Ball.

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Yanaguana Indian Arts Market: A Texas Tradition Begins

James McCandless

James McCandless

Former intern James McCandless is a recent St. Mary's University graduate. He has worked with the San Antonio Current and Texas Public Radio.