Celebrate Native Americans at The Briscoe’s FREE Yanaguana Indian Arts Festival
Get ready to celebrate Native Americans: The Briscoe is busily getting ready for their biggest family-friendly, FREE, fall event of the year – the museum’s annual Yanaguana Indian Arts Festival! To celebrate the vibrancy and artistic traditions of Native American communities – and the local tribes who helped shape San Antonio – the Briscoe Western Art Museum invites everyone to its annual Yanaguana Indian Arts Festival, Saturday, November 11, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The event is free and includes admission to the Briscoe, making it a perfect way to celebrate the important role Native Americans played in shaping the West while enjoying art and artifacts that highlight Native American history during Native American Heritage Month.
Highlighting the continued vibrancy and artistic traditions of Native American communities – and the local tribes who helped shape San Antonio – the Briscoe Western Art Museum invites everyone to its annual Yanaguana Indian Arts Festival, Saturday, November 11, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The event is free and includes admission to the Briscoe, making it a perfect way to celebrate the important role Native Americans played in shaping the West while enjoying art and artifacts that highlight Native American history during Native American Heritage Month.
The free community festival features storytelling, artist demonstrations, pottery and carving, as well as Native American-inspired food, including REZR’vation Only, a food truck featuring Native American-inspired cuisine that is owned and operated by a registered member of the Navajo Nation. The event starts with a Native American spiritual blessing, followed by a ceremonial drum circle that invites everyone to join.
“The American West would not be what it is today without the contributions of Native Americans. The Yanaguana Indian Arts Festival offers the opportunity to see, interact and celebrate with Native American artists and performers – and honor their traditions,” said Liz Jackson, President and CEO of the Briscoe Western Art Museum. “It is an honor to share in their traditions and ensure their storytelling is kept alive for future generations. The performances and art tell a story that’s compelling for all ages, making the event a true family affair.”
The annual event is named in honor of the Payaya people, who were indigenous to the San Antonio area. “Yanaguana” was the word they used to describe what is now known as the San Antonio River. The festival highlights Native Americans, both a core pillar of Western Art and featured in the Briscoe’s permanent collection. The festival has been held annually since the museum opened.
Admission and all crafts and activities included in the festival are free. The 2023 Yanaguana Indian Arts Festival features:
- An opening spiritual blessing by United San Antonio Pow Wow, Inc., a group that works to provide Native American people the opportunity to participate, practice, teach and exchange tribal traditions among all tribes and to enlighten everyone about the history and culture of America’s first inhabitants.
- A Pow Wow-style drum circle kicks off the day with United San Antonio Pow Wow and Enemy Horse Drumming demonstrating and explaining common pow wow dance styles.
- Live music by Native American artists, including Tim Blueflint Ramel. An enrolled member of the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa, a federally recognized American Indian Tribe, flute player Blueflint Ramel has opened for and shared the stage with Grammy Award Winner Mary Youngblood and a wide variety of artists. He is also an accomplished flute and jewelry maker and will demonstrate his craft throughout the day.
- Live music from San Antonio native contemporary flute player Ryan LittleEagle. Of mixed Lakota/Taino and Latino heritage, LittleEagle is a multi-award-winning international performer and musician.
- Chikashsha Hithla dance troupe demonstrating traditional Chickasaw dance. Comprised of native people from Southeastern American Indian tribes, members of the troupe are Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminole and Creek, who are dedicated to preserving their culture and educating the public through songs, storytelling and Stomp dancing.
- Stories from Amy Bluemel, a Chickasaw storyteller and the great-granddaughter of Eastman Kaney, an original Dawes Commission enrollee. Bluemel shares Chickasaw customs and those of other southeastern tribes through elaborate storytelling.
- Native American art demonstrations, including ledger art with artist George Curtis Levi, showcasing how ledger art captures a moment in time. A type of art that originated amongst the Cheyenne in the late 1840s, ledger art utilized pages of repurposed record books to depict everyday life. A member of the Southern Cheyenne tribe in Oklahoma, Levi also has ties to the Arapaho and Oglala Lakota communities.
- Kachina carving with Kevin Horace Quannie, a Hopi/Navajo contemporary artist. Living on the Hopi reservation, Quannie specializes in carving contemporary kachina dolls using cottonwood roots.
- Shane Hendren, a turquoise expert and a Diné/Navajo jewelry maker who is a member of the Indian Arts & Craft Association (IACA), an organization committed to promoting the integrity of materials used in native jewelry. Hendren returns to share his expertise of the turquoise gemstone.
- Crafts and lectures that include making your own spin drum, creating bison hide art, basket weaving, loom weaving, ledger art and leather stamping, as well as a community weaving basket.
Anouk Masson Krantz: “American Cowboys”
Festival visitors can also enjoy free admission to the museum and its permanent collection of Western art and artifacts, including exhibitions that highlight the stories of the American Indian, cowboys, pioneering women and others that define the West. The Briscoe’s fall exhibition, Anouk Masson Krantz: “American Cowboys”, shares an intimate look at America’s Western heritage. Nearly 100 images captured on solo journeys across the American West by the celebrated photographer Anouk Masson Krantz highlight the enduring traditions around ranching and rodeo life from an outsider’s perspective.
A French fine-art photographer and author based in New York City best known for her American Western work, Krantz has logged more than 125,000 miles traveling the West by herself in her quest to reveal the authentic daily lives of humble and virtuous American cowboy. Krantz’s photography has received worldwide acclaim, including the 2023 Western Heritage Award for her latest artbook, “Ranchland: Wagonhound”. The exhibition is the largest of Krantz’s work to date and is on view through Jan. 22, 2024.
Honoring Heritage All Year Long
From its McNutt Sculpture Garden to the museum’s beautifully restored historic home inside the former San Antonio Public Library building, the Briscoe’s collection spans 14 galleries, with special exhibitions, events and a fantastic Museum Store, providing art, culture, history and entertainment. Museum hours, parking and admission details are available online.