Saturday, February 5, 2011

Winter Stories Night 2011

by John Aldrich

We were treated to another immersion into Navajo culture during the annual Winter Stories night on January 30th. Organized by Rodger Williams, this popular evening at the warehouse is well-attended by both ANE volunteers as well as local Navajos who come to share in this winter tradition.

To add to the ambiance of the occasion, Rodger encouraged everyone to think of the warehouse as a "large hogan" for the evening. Attendees also brought a variety of food offerings to share with others.

The program featured a variety of talents including story telling, singing, and drumming. Below is Harry James, who provides the popular Pow Wow event at the annual rug show.

Lacee Harris, a local Ute, is an animated and entertaining story teller. In past years he has usually shared tales of Ma' ii  (coyote), the perennial trickster. This time, however, he related a story about Mouse which contained many lessons about life.

Eileen Quintana, along with her daughter Tinisha, took part in several presentations. Here is Tinisha demonstrating a string game, another traditional Navajo winter pastime. In this photo she has created cat's whiskers.

Eileen and Tinisha performed together in this back-and-forth song celebrating the connection between mother and daughter.

One of the highlights of the evening were several performances by the Cliff Eagle Singers, a drum group led by Emerson Bill. To conclude, here's a video clip of the group performing a ribbon dance song.


  1. Really pulled me in. What does the song mean?

  2. Wonderful pictures. It is great to see the warehouse being used in a different way. The picture of Tinisha is amazing, definitly looks like cat's whiskers. Also like the one of her and her mother. Lovely moment captured. Rodger looks at ease, nice picture of him with the rug behind.

  3. This was a great event. When will the next story telling event happen?