Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Amasani Program

by April Wilsey

A facet of the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program that many people may be unaware of is the Amasani Program. Amasani means "grandmother" in Navajo.  This program involves both grandmothers and grandfathers.

The Classroom Amasani Program was created to increase awareness of the traditional life of the Navajo Elders and to build understanding through ongoing communication. The program provides educational materials for classroom use and opportunities for students to develop relationships with Navajo Elders, thus promoting a bridge between cultures and generations. An Elder may be adopted for one school year or continue with subsequent classes. 

This winter, Rodger Williams and I did classroom and school presentations about the Navajo Elders and the various programs that are in place to help them with food, firewood, yarn, and other items. Rodger was able to play his drum and sing some Navajo songs to the students, as well as tell Winter Stories to them. I brought Navajo rugs and jewelry to show the students. Also, a ceremonial basket and model of a hogan were on display.

Here Rodger is demonstrating the model hogan to students at the Community Montessori School in Salt Lake City. The roof is removable so students can see the interior layout of a traditional Navajo dwelling.

 Students listen attentively as Rodger plays his drum and sings.

To learn more about the Amasani Program visit the Amasani page of our web site. There you will find additional information as well as links to a variety of resources.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the informative article and photos April. I had seen some information in the newsletters and it is great to hear more. It is a fantastic idea to use in school, not only for something different for the children to learn but also to educate them about another culture with the bonus of first hand knowledge and props!