Place corn husks in a large container; cover with hot water. Let stand 1 to 2 hours or until softened. Drain well; pat dry.
Combine meat, chili powder, and 1 tablespoon salt; mix well.
Combine cornmeal, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, shortening, and boiling water in a large mixing bowl; stir until shortening melts and mixture is well blended.
Place 2 tablespoons cornmeal mixture down center of each husk; spread to within 1/2 inch of edge. Place 2 tablespoons meat mixture on cornmeal, spreading evenly. Fold sides of husk to center, enclosing filling completely. Fold pointed end under; tie with string or strips of corn husk. (If husks are too narrow, overlap 2 husks to make a wide one. If husks are too wide, tear off one side.)
Layer tamales in a large Dutch oven; add water to cover. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer 40 minutes. Drain well. Serve tamales in husks. Remove husks before eating.