The White Buffalo Indian Pow Wow

Reported by: Wayne Hereford
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Updated: 5/11/2013 9:45 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- The 8th Annual White Buffalo Indian Pow Wow got underway Saturday afternoon in Tupelo at the Furniture Market.

That's where several Native American tribes from across the country get together for what's called a 'happening.'

If you like authentic Indian dance, this event is about as authentic as it gets.

The annual White Buffalo Indian Pow Wow is held each year in Tupelo, sponsored by the Tupelo Buffalo Park.

The "White Buffalo" tradiition is sacred in Indian culture .

The Buffalo Park was home to such a Buffalo named Tukota, which passed away in 2011.

"'There's not another one in the United States. When he died, he was the last one. So we're all waiting for another one to be born really," Tupelo Buffalo Park owner Dan Franklin said. "The odds are like one in five million."

Ken Dixon is a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. He has come here for the past eight years.

"The Pow Wow is like a homecoming. It's what they call honor. Many people have different meanings for it," said Dixon.

Several tribes converged in Tupelo Saturday evening, including the Aztecs from Mexico City by way of Memphis, Tenn.

"We've been invited to this festival. This is our third year. We're just really happy to be here to make a connection between all tribes," said Eduardo Tellex, an Aztec dancer.

"We're here to represent our heritage. And we want people to learn about the ancient culture from Mexico before the Spaniards came and colonized Mexico," replied Daniel Garcia, a dancer with the same group.

"It's very spiritual. It's a ritual and it's something that we want to share and find our brothers from different cultures also. That's our mission," said Maricela Rodriguez, another Aztec dancer.

Some in attendance, like Billy "Dancing Buffalo" Miller of Tupelo, were feelling connected as well.

"I came today to support the people, my indigenous people, to visit with the different tribes," Miller said. "I am the principal chief of the First Nation of Chickamaunga."

However, Indian culture was not the only thing on display at the Pow Wow.

There was a line that seemed to go on forever to take a picture and get an autograph from R.J. and Jay Paul -- known to many as the Swamp People.

"Oh yeah, they had to bring me over here. We never met them before and I watch them all the time when they're on," said a jubilant Jean Stegall of Fulton.

The Pow Wow will continue at the Tupelo Furniture Market Building Five Sunday, starting at 9 a.m.
 
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