Spirit of the Buffalo Pow Wow Makes Grand Return
by James Coulter
Rose Salinas and her husband travel the country sharing her Aztec heritage. They perform traditional dances while dressed in traditional costumes from their home of Mexico City. On the side, they sell jewelry, shirts, and other merchandise to help cover their travel expenses.
Rose and her husband travel the pow wow circuit. Their travels had them return to Auburndale for the Spirit of the Buffalo Pow Wow. They have been visiting the event for nearly ten years, and they were grateful to return after its yearlong absence due to the ongoing pandemic.
“It is nice,” Rose said. “We are grateful to be able to do what we do. It is a honor to be able to do that, to share our culture.”
For more than 25 years, Spirit of the Buffalo Pow Wow has allowed people of Native American heritage to congregate at International Market World in Auburndale and share their culture and traditions with other people through dance, music, art, and crafts.
“The Spirit of Buffalo Pow-Wow is the largest Native American Pow-Wow in Florida with live alligators and Buffalo,” its website states, describing the event as, “fun for all ages, showcasing Native American villages, artifacts, crafts, and live demonstrations with over 20 tribes from all over the nation.”
Matt Taylor of Coyote Crafts has been attending for six years. Being of Cherokee descent, he creates dream catchers, jewelry, spears, and other traditional crafts. To him, it’s more than just a business. It’s a way for him to share his heritage with others.
“I am out here to sell my crafts, show people how they are made, and show history behind them,” he said. “I love all of it. It is part of my life. It feels good coming back after last year.”
Mitchell Sweeny is a local vendor at the flea market. He sells hand-crafted knives and axes and sharpens them through his business. As someone with 50 years of knife making experience, his secret to crafting the sharpest knife is to choose the right metal. Some of his knives are made from files and saw blades.
Sweeny claims to have a tiny sliver of Native American in him. He considers himself to be Irish-Indian-German-Swedish. As such, he appreciates being able to participate in the pow wow year after year.
“I do the pow wow every year,” he said. “I like doing it.”
Spirit of the Buffalo Pow Wow is currently being hosted at International Market World, located at 1052 US Highway 92 W Auburndale, FL 33823. The event will be hosted again this weekend from Fri. Feb. 4 to Sun. Feb 6 from 10 AM to 6 PM.For more information, visit their website at: http://www.spiritofthebuffalopowwow.com/