Posts tagged: reservation
The Navajo Nation band marches toward the Navajo Capital in Window Rock, AZ during the 2011 Veteran’s Day Holiday.
Нава́хо нава́хи нация навахо дене дине Индейцы навахо индеец
The Navajo Shoe Game, Keshjee’, is centuries old and is not a “game.” This sacred Navajo ceremony tells and shows the story of how the cycle of day and night came to be.
Long ago, in ancient days, the night creatures and the day creatures did not understand the importance of the cycles of the universe. Each group wanted it to be either day or night all the time. A contest was held to see which group had the most power and this was the first Shoe Game.
The two teams played through the night, trying to guess in which of four shoes the ball made of yucca root was hidden. As the game went on each team would gain or lose 102 yucca stems. At sunrise there was no winner and the animals had learned that all seasons and cycles are part of the grand plan.
Késhjéé’, as a lattice of choices, represents life and the fact that the natural order of things cannot be changed. Not every choice can be correct, but the lessons are learned and experience is gained. Neither lying or cheating can change the outcome and the payment of a fee of yucca stems is still required.
A Member of the “Tséhootsooí Twin Warrior Society” relaxes in front of the old Ft. Defiance Post Office with his grandson, waiting to lead the Window Rock High School Homecoming Parade.
A young Navajo boy surveys a wall decorated with American flags, oblivious to the tragic history that his ancestors and the United States share.
A Navajo elder receives solace from a relative as she passionately embraces an American flag at the Navajo Nation’s Veterans Day Memorial service in Window Rock, Arizona.
An Apache Crown Dancer in Fort Defiance, Arizona. The Crown Dance is a traditional Apache dance. Crown Dancing is sacred to the Apache people. It is part of ceremonies such as the Girl’s Puberty Ceremony, which marks a girl’s entry into young womanhood.
Crown Dances are also performed for very specific ceremonies that are held only at a certain time and a certain place. The dances honor the four directions and the deer. Deer are considered both food and medicine by the Apache. The Apache people believe that Crown Dancing keeps the people in balance with their environment and ensures their survival.
Like some other ceremonial Native American dances, the dances have been modified so that they can be shared with outsiders without compromising the sacred nature of the dance, but it is still performed as a blessing.
Miss Navajo Nation [2011-2012], Crystalyne Curley, from Fish Point, Arizona. (Tselani/Cottonwood Chapter)