Each rug show has its own theme, and each theme embodies the spirit of that show. For this years show, to be held November 12-14, the theme is Weaving World Peace.
The idea for this theme arose during the 2009 show. During recent rug shows an event has been held on Saturday afternoons called the Native American Idol Contest which is based loosely on the American Idol model. The Elders love to sing, and the idea here was to present them with a theme and let them improvise a song after being given a few minutes to prepare. In this case the theme was What I Want Santa to Bring Me For Christmas.
Elsie Benale, a fine weaver from Forest Lake, sang about her wish for World Peace. This started Linda thinking that this might be a good theme for the next rug show, and she presented the idea to all the Elders the following day. It was well-received, and the weavers were encouraged to create rugs based on this theme. Smaller rugs would be submitted to be used for rug show advertising and promotion and larger rugs could be presented later to be sold at the show.
World Peace seems like a very lofty goal for our organization, but it fits very well with the Program mission as well as with the tenets of Navajo culture and philosophy. The Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program is truly an international organization. We have supporters and donors from around the world and sponsors living in Australia, New Zealand, and Germany. A volunteer has come to the rug show from Holland for the past two years.
Rodger Williams points out that traditional Navajo prayers end with the phrase Hozhó Nahasdlii' being repeated four times. This is a plea for restoration of harmony and balance which can be interpreted at a personal level or at a more general level for the larger good.
Rodger relates that if you ask Navajos what World Peace means to them, you will find that they respond to you from a spiritual perspective. To the Diné (Navajo) peace is synonymous with the word K'é. This is a Navajo word which means relations and relatives or it could mean a peaceful state among all living beings. Thus we are reminded that we are all connected to one another through the Brotherhood of Man.
Here is a drawing created by Rodger as an illustration of this year's theme. Superimposed on an image of the world are elements contained in the Program logo. Hands from different cultures are seen coming together under a rainbow and sacred eagle feather. Differences are mended. World Peace is fostered.