Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
How Rebates Have the Texas Film Industry Playing Catch Up To its Neighbors

How Rebates Have the Texas Film Industry Playing Catch Up To its Neighbors

Screens: See if you can spot the common thread that is pulling at the seams of the Texas film industry. On NBC’s The Night Shift, a stock-written staff... By Matt Stieb 8/27/2014
Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

Astrology: ARIES (March 21-April 19): In the coming weeks it will be important for you to bestow blessings and disseminate gifts and dole out helpful... By Rob Brezsny 8/27/2014

Best Indian Restaurant

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Savage Love: Working Out the Kinks

Savage Love: Working Out the Kinks

Arts & Culture: My boyfriend of two years cannot climax or maintain an erection unless his testicles are handled, squeezed, pulled, or pressed on... By Dan Savage 8/27/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

News

How Alamo mythology got the upper hand on its history and misled the Raccoon People

Photo: , License: N/A



Related stories


Another artist who has attempted reconciliation, or as he prefers, "cultural adjustment," with the Alamo is Rolando Briseño. For the last two years on June 13, the Feast Day of Saint Anthony, Briseño and friends have enacted a ritual in front of the Alamo. Mixing a blessing of the four directions that recalls indigenous ritual with a Catholic folk practice that places statues of Saint Anthony of Padua upside down to try to coerce the saint to grant favors, a group of four actors representing Alamo participants parade a statue of St. Anthony about the plaza, then spin the figure while song and blessings are recited. In anticipation of a full-fledged festival, lowriders parade on the streets surrounding the plaza.

Briseño's hope is that the Alamo story will be expanded to include all the peoples and times of Mission San Antonio de Valero — not just the famous 13 days of siege and the brief battle of 1836.

As Fiesta events begin to take over the city, blocking streets and eating up rare parking spots, no doubt many less-festive souls will just want the days of celebration to soon be over. Performance artist Jimmy James Canales takes on the tourist scene with his character Mapache Man. "You may have noticed," Canales told me last summer, "that if an artist in San Antonio wants his piece to sound cool, he just translates the title into Spanish." Mapache is Spanish for raccoon. Rather than denounce Davy Crockett's famous hat, Canales celebrates the coonskin in a new myth that tells of Crockett's hat being swept away after the battle and magically transforming into a totemic character. As Mapache Man, Canales cloaks himself in ring-tailed fake-fur hats purchased from tourist stores along the River Walk and Alamo Plaza. Then he plunges into the crowd, dancing and running like mad along the River Walk, Mapache Man is with his true people — the tourists of San Antonio.

The Texas General Land Office wasn't given authority over the Alamo simply to adjust historical presentation. Improvements in historical accuracy are coming, said Patterson, "from within the DRT itself." It was rather concerns for the ability of the financially challenged DRT to maintain the integrity of the remaining old buildings on the site, especially the failing roof of the Alamo church, that led to the change. According to Patterson, the Land Office is well suited to take on the responsibility, having a full complement of construction experts and legal expertise at its command. The last is notable, given the city's recent interest in changing the configuration of Alamo Plaza to include less wheeled traffic and more pedestrian space.

This May, voters will decide a city bond that includes funds to implement changes at Alamo Plaza that include building a marker to locate the old main gate of the Alamo compound, and may turn over management of the plaza to a new nonprofit organization. There is more at stake than bond approval, however. The four sites of the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park, managed by the U.S. Parks Service, along with the Alamo, have been named as a candidate to join the UNESCO World Heritage list. On May 31-June 2, the U.S. National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites will gather in San Antonio for their annual conference. During that time, historians, conservators, and curators will have an up-close opportunity to judge how our historical sites are being maintained. Will Alamo management pass muster?

Recently in News
  • Texas Law Leaves Abortion Out of Reach for Many Women Texas’ sweeping abortion law has already eliminated all abortion clinics south of San Antonio, and the last clinic west of the city... | 8/27/2014
  • Cityscrapes: A race to the convention floor “Conventions go to the city which exerts the greatest efforts to secure them. San Antonio can get any convention that it goes after.” That was the position... | 8/27/2014
  • Mayoral Horserace Once elected next spring, San Antonio’s new mayor will have just a few months to prepare for the 2016 budget... | 8/27/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus