September 11 and 12, 2015


Oka Kapassa, a special Native American gathering, is held in Spring Park, Tuscumbia, Alabama to celebrate the culture and traditions of American Indians who once thrived in north Alabama. The tenth annual two-day event will be held on Friday, September 11 and Saturday, September 12, 2015. Friday is a day set aside for school children but is also open to the general public.

You will find the people of Tuscumbia and surrounding cities of Florence, Sheffield, and Muscle Shoals to be a warm and hospitable folk. Creek Indian Chief Chilley McIntosh spoke favorably of the people in Colbert County, stating "As long as our nation remains upon the earth, we will recollect Tuscumbia." Return to Coldwater is an event not only for the reunion of family and friends, but also for tourists who come to enjoy the celebration of native culture still very much alive here in the Tennessee Valley.

Many crafts and activities are offered, including

  • Storytelling & Stonecarving
  • Flutes & Flute Music
  • Hoop Dancing
  • Fancy & Traditional Dancing
  • Blowgun Demonstrations
  • Shell Carving
  • Flintknapping
  • Basket Making
  • Authentic Indian Foods - Frybread,
    Indian tacos, & Corn
  • Native American Language Table
  • Pottery
  • Jewelry & Beadwork
  • Archery Demonstrations
  • Hairbraiding
  • Dolls

  • We were saddened to learn of the passing of our good friend David Eveningthunder (Shoshone). David was part of Oka Kapassa from the first event. He was a great artist and always pleasant and grateful to those around him. He will be greatly missed as he was a supportive and positive fixture of Oka Kapassa and the Singing River Festival for over 20 years. He was always ready and willing to support this event and enjoyed being with the people and our community. Below is a link to his website to share with others.

    The Gathering is a wonderful opportunity
    to purchase authentic native artwork
    such as this pine needle basket made by
    Wanda Sylestine, Coushatta.

    Oka Kapassa: Return to Coldwater has been designated a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society.

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                Dan Townsend, preeminent Southeastern Indian shell carver, will bring his extraordinary art to Oka Kapassa again this year. Townsend is based in Tallahassee, Florida. His work is in collections throughout the world. He was among a select number of Native American artists invited to display their work at the opening of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, and he has served as an artist in residence at the Art Institute of Chicago. More about Dan Townsend and his art can be found at           
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    larger version)

    A member of the Western Band of Cherokee Indians and recipient of the honor National Treasure, awarded by the Cherokee Nation, Noel Grayson has taught courses sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council at the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He will again be present at Oka Kapassa: Return to Coldwater, setting up a Southeastern Indian Hunter's Camp, circa 1700-1800, and demonstrating flintknapping.      
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    larger version)

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              Amy Bluemel is a member of the Chickasaw Nation. She was a member of the Chickasaw Nation Dance Troupe for the last 6 years and now dances with the dance troupe Chikashsha Hithla. She has traveled the country, educating people about Southeastern culture and tradition. Amy brings to her storytelling performances many native artifacts such as beadwork, tomahawks, bows, arrows, pelts, and rattles, along with knowledge about tribal customs of today and customs of the past. Through her sharing of Chickasaw stories and traditions with the audience, she explains why they wear the regalia they do and shares their language. Amy believes it is important to reach the audience through laughter, and she makes all her presentations fun. She knows that while you are having a great time, you will leave with a new knowledge about Native people and the Chickasaw tribe.

    Schedule of Events


    Volunteer at Oka Kapassa

    Festival Guidelines

    Festival Committee and Advisory Board

    Festival Images

    Oka Kapassa Salutes the Greatest Generation

    For more information contact:
    Colbert County Tourism
    (256) 383-0783   Toll Free (800) 344-0783

    Contact us
    This page last updated 06/29/2015.